Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia has returned to the team after serving an 80-game suspension for PED use. Buddy Carlyle has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Mejia. Logan Verrett has been optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Mejia on the 25-man roster.
Mejia, 25, tested positive for Stanozolol in early April and denied knowingly using the substance. Mejia was also dealing with an elbow injury at the time of his suspension but is completely healed up from that.
Jeurys Familia stepped into the closer’s role in Mejia’s absence and performed so well he was nominated to the National League All-Star roster. Familia has converted the save in 23 of 25 chances with a 1.13 ERA and a 41/12 K/BB ratio over 39 2/3 innings. As a result, Mejia will not be reclaiming his job as the Mets’ closer.
Last season, Mejia moved to the bullpen after a mediocre stretch of seven starts. He saved 28 games in 31 chances with a 2.72 ERA and a 60/21 K/BB ratio in 56 1/3 innings.
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.