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Sandy Alderson to take leave of absence from Mets

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Tim Britton of The Athletic reports that GM Sandy Alderson will take a leave of absence from the Mets to focus on his health. Alderson’s cancer has come back and he will likely undergo surgery this summer.

In Alderson’s absence, assisstants John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi, and Omar Minaya will handle baseball operations. When asked if he plans to return to the same role, Alderson said, “If I were to look at it on the merits, I’m not sure coming back is warranted,” per Britton.

After fainting during a press conference in November 2015, Alderson was diagnosed with cancer a month later. He has been battling it ever since. Thankfully, as Britton notes, Alderson says his prognosis is good.

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.