What strange, crazy couple of years this has been for the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez. It was all-out war between them in 2013. 2014 featured A-Rod’s virtual disappearance during his suspension. This spring was testy, with Rodriguez’s early appearance at spring training creating controversy and his chasing of Willie Mays’ home run total threatening legal maneuvering.
But then the Yankees started winning a lot and, until this past week, were in first place, thanks in large part to A-Rod’s unexpectedly excellent season. They’re still in the thick of the AL East race, obviously, and the good feelings are continuing:
How about that? Hatchets can be buried and baseball accomplishments can be celebrated. Even in New York, even when it involves Alex Rodriguez.
Maybe one day they can celebrate him in a smaller New York town, as they should.
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.