Bill talked about the walkoffs which occurred on Opening Day but there were a ton of homers of all kinds yesterday. Thirty-three in all, in fact, which is a record for Opening Day.
Thirty-two of those thirty-three were smacked over the fence and one, by Boston’s Eduardo Nunez, stayed in the park. Three players hit multiple homers: Matt Davidson of the White Sox with three and Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees and Tim Anderson of the White Sox with two. In light of that you will not be surprised to hear that the White Sox, who hit six home runs in their 14-7 win over the Royals, tied the major league record for most home runs on Opening Day, previously set by the 1988 New York Mets.
Last year, of course, we saw a new record set for league-wide homers at 6,104. The previous high — 5,693 in the year 2000 — was broken with 12 days left in the season.
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.