Update (8:14 PM ET): Scherzer left with a neck spasm, per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.
Max Scherzer‘s Tuesday night in Miami did not go at all how anyone expected. The right-hander belted his first career home run in the top of the second inning, staking his team to a 4-0 lead as part of a six-run inning. He warmed up to begin the bottom of the second inning, but was taken out of the game with an apparent injury.
In Scherzer’s one inning, he set the Marlins down in order on two ground outs and an infield pop-up. Matt Grace relieved him in the second inning.
The Nationals should pass along word on Scherzer’s status during or after the game. Obviously, this could be a season-altering issue for the Nats. Scherzer entered the evening with a 12-5 record, a 2.23 ERA, and a 201/36 K/BB ratio in 145 1/3 innings.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.