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Report: Giants sign Tony Watson to two-year deal

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Update, 3:40 p.m. ET: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has more details on the terms of the agreement:

Free agent left-hander Tony Watson has reportedly agreed to terms with the Giants, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman announced late Friday night. While the deal has not been confirmed by the team, it’s believed to be a two-year agreement with incentives and a player option (with additional incentives) for a third year. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the deal guarantees Watson something “in the neighborhood of $7 million,” though the exact figure has yet to be disclosed. More importantly, the contract isn’t expected to push the Giants over the $197 million luxury tax threshold.

Watson, 32, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates in 2017 after being dealt to the Dodgers at the trade deadline. The lefty reliever earned a combined 3.38 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 7.2 SO/9 in 66 2/3 innings with the two clubs. He also produced 10 saves with the Pirates after beginning the season in the closer role, though some midseason struggles led to his eventual demotion.

The Giants have been in sore need of healthy, productive relievers after a disastrous 2017 campaign, one in which highly-touted closer Mark Melancon succumbed to a lingering forearm strain and the bullpen stumbled to a 25th-best ranking in the league with a cumulative 4.34 ERA and 1.5 fWAR. Granted, Watson is several years removed from the lights-out, sub-2.00 ERA performance that merited All-Star billing back in 2014, but he still figures to be a valuable addition to a team hoping to contend again in 2018.

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.