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James Paxton throws 12-strikeout gem vs. Red Sox

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Yankees starter James Paxton wasn’t off to a great start to the 2019 season after coming to the Bronx from the Mariners in an offseason trade. Despite his first two starts coming against the lowly Orioles, Paxton carried a 6.00 ERA across 15 innings prior to Tuesday night’s start against the Red Sox. His numbers are now looking much healthier.

Paxton tossed eight shutout innings against the Red Sox, limiting the opposition to just two hits and a walk while striking out 12 batters. It’s the second time in Paxton’s career he’s reached the 12-strikeout threshold, previously fanning 16 batters on May 2 last year against the Athletics. The lefty tossed eight-plus shutout innings on five previous occasions in his career spanning 106 starts.

The Yankees went on to defeat the Red Sox 8-0, with Joe Harvey finishing out the game in the ninth. After Tuesday’s effort, Paxton’s ERA now stands at a much more appealing 3.91 with 31 strikeouts and seven walks across 23 innings.

The reigning World Series champion Red Sox are now 6-12 to start the season. That is, ah, not great.

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.