Rangers pitcher Derek Holland left Friday’s start against the Astros after pitching just one inning due to a left shoulder injury. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Holland will be shut down for four to six weeks with a sub-scapula sprain of his left shoulder. That likely means he’ll be out at least a couple of months.
Anthony Bass relieved Holland in the game and pitched five strong innings, allowing only one run. Bass is a candidate to take Holland’s vacated spot in the starting rotation. Nick Tepesch is another candidate. The Rangers could also seek pitching help from outside the organization.
As for Holland, it’s another stroke of bad luck as he missed most of the 2014 season after undergoing microfracture knee surgery in January following a fall at home.
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.