Mike Napoli takes a lot of bumps and bruises, and he’s having surgery in November. But that surgery has nothing to do with the bumps and bruises: it’s to address his chronic sleep apnea.
The surgery, as reported by WEEI, seems pretty major and sounds like nothing anyone would want. It’s called maxillomandibular advancement surgery, which is the technical term for “we’re gonna cut your jaw bone and move it forward . . . wait, you’re looking pale, do you need some water? Maybe sit down and you’ll stop being queasy surgery.”
But want has nothing to do with it. People who, like Napoli, suffer from sleep apnea and are resistant to less radical treatment like CPAP machines and nasal surgery need this sort of thing. Apnea interferes with sleep and can make your life miserable. And, if it’s serious, the interruption in breathing it causes can pose a serious risk to the person with it.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.