Robinson Cano was traded from the Mariners back to New York in early December. To the Mets, of course, not the Yankees.
There was skepticism about the trade from some. Cano is 36. He also lost a big chunk of the 2018 season due to a PED suspension. Was he still good enough to play second base for a team with pretensions of contention? Did he make too much money on a team that, historically, has not cared to spend too much money? Will the bat speed and the production still be there?
It will take more than one at bat for those questions to be answered but so far, so good for Cano. His first at bat of the season came against the great Max Scherzer in Washington and this is what he did with a 1-1 pitch:
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Cano’s first impression as a Met was a pretty dang good one.
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.