UPDATE: Zobrist confirmed to Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com that he will have knee surgery. He’s hoping to be back in 4-6 weeks.
1:01 p.m. ET: Ben Zobrist was back in the Athletics’ starting lineup last night for the first time since Sunday, but he didn’t feel right and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with what is being termed as a left medial meniscus tear.
Zobrist received a cortisone shot in the knee earlier this week and hoped to play through the injury, but he hinted at the possibility of surgery if it wasn’t successful. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, typical recovery time for a cleanup procedure is about 3-6 weeks. That wouldn’t be too bad under the circumstances, but he’ll be missed in Oakland’s lineup.
The A’s called up infielder Max Muncy from Triple-A Nashville to take Zobrist’s place on the active roster while left-hander Eury De La Rosa was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
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.