Alex Rodriguez has a decent shot at tying or surpassing Babe Ruth next season

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Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez smacked his 17th home run of the season in the first inning on Friday night against Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz. Thus continues Rodriguez’s terrific season. Along with the 17 round-trippers, he has knocked in 48 runs while batting .279/.384/.511. Despite not making the 2015 American League All-Star roster, Rodriguez is rated as the ninth-best hitter in the league according to the Sabermetric statistics weighted on-base average. The 15 other players in the AL’s top-16 are All-Stars.

Anyway. Rodriguez now has 671 home runs in his career, leaving him 43 home runs shy of tying Babe Ruth for third on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard at 714. A-Rod is currently on pace to finish with 32 home runs (15 more the rest of the way), which would put him at 686. That means Rodriguez would need to hit 28 home runs next year to tie Ruth and 29 to pass him. That doesn’t seem unreasonable, even though Rodriguez will be 40 years old.

This will, however, be the first season in which Rodriguez has hit more than 18 home runs since 2010. If he hits the 30-homer threshold, he’ll have done something he hasn’t accomplished in half a decade. But if he can do it at 39, he can do it at 40, right?

Imagine where Rodriguez would be if he didn’t need to undergo knee surgery in 2011, suffer a hand injury in 2012, require hip surgery in 2013, and miss all of 2014 due to his PED suspension.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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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.