HOUSTON — Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer is expected to start Game 7 of the World Series if that game is necessary, three days after being scratched from Game 5 because of neck spasms, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Tuesday.
After receiving treatment, including a Cortisone injection, when he arrived at Nationals Park on Sunday, Scherzer flew to Houston on Monday and on Tuesday afternoon threw for about 10 minutes in the Minute Maid Park outfield. His throws, from varying lengths, appeared aggressive, likely intending to test his arm, neck and trapezius muscle.
Following that program, Scherzer told reporters, “I’m good,” before exiting the field.
He told team officials, including Martinez and general manager Mike Rizzo, that he was feeling much better and figured to be ready to pitch in Game 7 on Wednesday night here. The Nationals, behind right-hander Stephen Strasburg, would have to beat the Houston Astros and Justin Verlander in Game 6 in order to force a Game 7.
“If Max tells me tonight he’s good,” Martinez said Tuesday afternoon, “Max will pitch until his neck tells him he can’t pitch anymore.”
In the Nationals’ unlikely postseason run to the World Series, which began in the National League wild card game, the three-time Cy Young Award winner has made four starts and one relief appearance and is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA. The Nationals have won all five games in which he has pitched.
Game 7 would fall on veteran right-hander Anibal Sanchez’s turn. With Scherzer expected to be available for Game 7, however, Sanchez could be used in Game 6 in relief of Strasburg.
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