Broken nose no problem for Nats ace Max Scherzer

washington nationalsRemember that news item about Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer breaking his nose in batting practice and maybe missing a start? Yeah, scratch that.

Scherzer, sporting two black eyes, pitched seven shutout innings, striking out 10, in a 2-0 Nats win over Philadelphia Wednesday night, closing out a doubleheader sweep of the NL East rivals.

It was the four win in four starts for Scherzer (6-5, 2.62 ERA), who broke his nose in a bunting drill Tuesday afternoon ahead of a scheduled game that was eventually rained out.

The Nats had indicated in the aftermath of the injury that Scherzer would likely be bumped from his scheduled Wednesday start to the weekend.

But then Wednesday afternoon, the team penciled Scherzer in as the starter for Game 2 of the doubleheader.

He battled his way through a duel with Phils ace Jake Arrieta (6-7, 4.12 ERA), who took the loss, giving up one run, on a solo homer to Brian Dozier in the second, in six innings of work.

Washington added an insurance run on a solo homer from Victor Robles in the eighth inning off reliever Pat Neshek.

The Nationals got an inning of scoreless relief from Wander Suero in the eighth, ahead of a 1-2-3 ninth from closer Sean Doolittle, who recorded his 15th save.

Scherzer saved his best for last. After surrendering a leadoff double to Cesar Hernandez in the seventh, he struck out Brad Miller, Andrew Knapp and J.T. Realmuto, punching out Realmuto on an 85-mph slider on his 117th pitch of the night to get out of the jam.

The Nats are 16-7 dating back to May 24.

Story by Chris Graham



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