Max Scherzer Scratched from World Series Game 5 with Injury; Joe Ross to Start

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2019

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws to the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game, Thursday, July 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer will not start Sunday's Game 5 of the World Series because of spasms in his trapezius muscle.  

Eric Stephen of SB Nation reported the news, noting manager Dave Martinez said Joe Ross will take the ball instead.

"He was in a bad place. He's really upset about it," Martinez said, per Mark Zuckerman.

Scherzer later spoke to reporters, saying he wasn't able to dress himself without his wife's help.

"It just blew up on me," Scherzer said. "I can't even move."

The right-hander also noted he can't lift his arm because of the injury. 

This is another setback for the right-hander this season after he broke his nose in June and was placed on the injured list multiple times in July with back problems.

Having numerous health concerns in a single season is relatively new for the 35-year-old, who made 30 or more starts 10 years in a row entering the 2019 campaign. That durability allowed him to develop into one of the best pitchers of his generation.

He is a three-time Cy Young Award winner and seven-time All-Star who has anchored pitching staffs with the Detroit Tigers and Nationals for much of his career. He is in the middle of one of the most dominant pitching stretches in recent memory, having won the National League Cy Young in 2016 and 2017 and finishing as the runner-up in 2018.

Scherzer led the league last season in a number of categories, including strikeouts (300), WHIP (0.91), innings pitched (220.2) and wins (18) while posting a 2.53 ERA. The Missouri native followed with a 2.92 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 243 strikeouts in 172.1 innings this year. 

The ability to unleash the one-two punch of Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg is a primary reason the Nationals reached the World Series. They are now two wins away from a championship and will likely need Ross, who struggled on his way to a 5.48 ERA this season but pitched well down the stretch, to deliver in a pressure-packed situation.

Related

    Tony Clark: Rob Manfred, MLB Attempting to Negotiate Through the Media

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Tony Clark: Rob Manfred, MLB Attempting to Negotiate Through the Media

    Paul Kasabian
    via Bleacher Report

    Washington Nationals’ Kevin Long on filling the Anthony Rendon-sized void in the Nats’ lineup + more...

    Washington Nationals logo
    Washington Nationals

    Washington Nationals’ Kevin Long on filling the Anthony Rendon-sized void in the Nats’ lineup + more...

    Patrick Reddington
    via Federal Baseball

    Report: MLB intends to propose season of around 50 games

    Washington Nationals logo
    Washington Nationals

    Report: MLB intends to propose season of around 50 games

    NBC Sports Washington
    via NBC Sports Washington

    Boras to Pay Full Salaries to Released Minor Leaguers He Represents

    MLB logo
    MLB

    Boras to Pay Full Salaries to Released Minor Leaguers He Represents

    Paul Kasabian
    via Bleacher Report