Bruce Bochy used nine pitchers in three innings last night

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I mentioned this in the recaps, but it’s worth a standalone mention: Bruce Bochy went sorta nuts with his bullpen last night.

He used ten pitchers in all, even though he got six innings from starter Jake Peavy. After that Cory Gearrin, Josh Osich, Hunter Strickland, Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez, Michael Broadway, George Kontos, Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla all made appearances. Only Osich threw as many as 20 pitches. Only Romo and Kontos otherwise threw double-digit pitches. Five of the nine relievers faced just one batter. Affeldt threw two pitches. Lopez came in only to issue an intentional walk.

The scary part? Bochy has 14 relievers at his disposal right now, so he could’ve been even crazier with it.

Perhaps this is all a function of the Giants being in a close game they had to win (though they didn’t win it). But it doesn’t go crazy like this without September’s expanded rosters. Without them, Bochy and the Giants would have made different decisions and would’ve had to rise or fall based on a regular-looking baseball team, just like they did from April through August. We should want teams still nominally in a playoff race to have to play regular baseball, not this sort of musical chairs nonsense.

As I and many others have suggested on a number of occasions, baseball needs to change the expanded roster rules. If teams must be allowed to look at 15 more players in September than they do all year, only allow them to use a couple of them in any given game. Expand the rosters to 40, sure, but make sure that, say, only 27 can used in any given contest. Or 30. I don’t know. I’d prefer just 25, but I’ll allow for some leeway here.

Just don’t make fans have to sit through nine pitching changes in a nine inning game. That’s just awful.

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.