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Max Scherzer is Max Scherzer even with a broken nose: Scherzer Ks 10; throws seven scoreless vs Phillies...

Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer never thought about skipping a start even after he broke his nose in a BP mishap on Tuesday.

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals - Game Two Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Max Scherzer broke his nose when he fouled a batting practice bunt off his own face on Tuesday, but the 34-year-old Washington Nationals’ ace wasn’t going to let a broken nose stop him taking taking the mound in the second of two with the Philadelphia Phillies last night.

Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies on Wednesday morning he fully expected Scherzer to be on the hill for the nightcap of the split doubleheader with the Nationals’ NL East rivals in spite of the broken nose and black eyes.

“He’s scheduled to pitch tonight,” Rizzo said. “I saw him at the end of the night yesterday, he had a bandage and a splint on his nose. It was broken, it was set. I think he’s breathing fairly normal. I think we’ll see what happens when he wakes up today.

“You know how it is, if you have a broken nose sometimes you swell up in your eye area, in your eye region quite a bit. We’ll see if that curtails his ability to start or not, but knowing Max he’s going to give every effort to go out there and pitch tonight. It’s his day.

“[He’s] a creature of habit, he likes to stay on rotation, and we’ll see when he arrives today if he’s capable of pitching tonight, if not it shouldn’t be too much in the distant future where he gets on the mound.”

Manager Davey Martinez confirmed that Scherzer was good to go after a 6-2 win in the first game of the doubleheader.

“Other than his eye, he’s good,” Martinez told reporters before the nightcap with the Phils.

“He’s got a nice shiner.”

What did he need to see before he was sure the Nationals’ ace could go?

“Just wanted to make sure that he was good. He came in and we just saw him and he’s good,” the Nats’ skipper explained.

With a number of options, including 26th man, Austin Voth, who was called up for the split doubleheader, why did they make the decision to stick with Scherzer in spite of the broken nose?

“It’s his turn in the rotation,” Martinez said, “and if he’s good, he’s good, and he’s going to be out there for as long as we can have him out there.”

Scherzer tossed four scoreless on 67 pitches to start, as the Nationals jumped out to a 1-0 lead, and he seemed to have a bit of adrenaline going, averaging a little over 96 MPH with his fastball (which usually sits 94-95), and touching 98 a number of times through the first four innings, generating 10 swinging and 10 called strikes with his first 67 pitches.

He added two Ks in a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 fifth, and worked around a leadoff walk in a 21-pitch sixth which left him at 97 pitches total.

Scherzer led off the Nationals’ half of the sixth, lining out to right, and came back out for the top of the seventh, in a 1-0 game in the Nationals’ favor and worked around a leadoff double in a 20-pitch frame, striking out the final three batters to get to 10 Ks total from 27 batters in a 117-pitch effort... with a broken freaking nose.

Max Scherzer’s Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 Ks, 117 P, 76 S, 3/3 GO/FO.

“Awesome,” Martinez said after the Nationals’ 2-0 win. “Max is Max. He went out there and did what he’s supposed to do. Like I said, he was prepared. Him and [catcher Kurt Suzuki], they got a game plan and they go out there and they attack the game plan and he was phenomenal.”

Asked if there was a little something extra in Scherzer’s fastball, the manager said, “Yeah, there was.”

“Like I said, he bunted a ball, it was all over the papers, and he wanted to go out there and just pitch. I said last night, he came in right away and said, ‘I’m pitching today.’ So, he did what he needed to do.”

The second-year skipper sent Scherzer out for the seventh even though he was up to 97 pitches, and he said he didn’t give any consideration to doing anything else.

“In that particular moment of the game, he’s the guy you want out there. Really. I didn’t look at him, I didn’t want to look at him, but he didn’t look in the dugout, I just said, ‘Hey, it’s his game,’ and he did what he needed to do.”

Rizzo and Martinez never doubted that Scherzer would make the start, and neither did the pitcher.

“Never,” Scherzer said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman after the game. “Even when it happened, I was joking with (director of athletic training Paul Lessard): If this happened in a game, I’d still want to pitch.”

As bad as his eye looked, Scherzer said it wasn’t really that bad.

As bad as his eye looked, Scherzer said it wasn’t really that bad.

“Trust me, this thing looks a lot worse than it is. I felt zero pain. There’s been a lot of injuries where I was in a lot of pain and had to pitch through it. I’ll hang my head on those starts. Tonight I had zero pain. This is just part of what you’ve got to do. You take the ball every fifth time. That’s my responsibility to my team to make sure I always post. And I knew I could post tonight. It’s just going out there and doing my job.”

“When he came in yesterday he said he was good and unless he wakes up and something drastically changed, he was ready,” Martinez said.

“I didn’t think the eye thing was going to be an issue, or the nose, and he proved it.”