Washington Nationals: 5 storylines to watch as Phillies make final trip to DC
By Drew Douglas
Max Scherzer scheduled to start Friday
In the first inning of Max Scherzer‘s start last Saturday in Milwaukee, Travis Shaw hit a line drive back up the middle. Both fortunately and unfortunately for the Nats, it hit Scherzer in the calf. The fortunate part is Scherzer was able to retrieve the ball and throw Shaw out at first. The unfortunate part is Scherzer’s calf tightened up and he was forced to be removed from the game after just five innings and 75 pitches.
Scherzer has dealt with neck stiffness on multiple occasions within the last month, so this calf injury was extremely frustrating. It appears the Nats dodged a bullet, though, because Scherzer is scheduled to start on Friday.
On Tuesday, Scherzer said that he would throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and then on Wednesday, the Nats announced that he’d start on Friday, so the bullpen presumably went well.
The Nats are very lucky that Scherzer will most likely not be forced to take another trip to the disabled list because it is now September; any missed time means missing final tune-ups before the postseason.
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that Scherzer will be pitching on five days rest. This could be beneficial because his arm will be more rested, which he especially needs considering his heavy workload.
One potential downside of his time off, however, is the fact that Scherzer may not have been able to follow his normal program for between starts. He was getting treatment on his leg and was unable to run, so his off-day conditioning is automatically out of the picture. He was probably unable to progress through his normal throwing program as well. Baseball players are creatures of habit, and it’ll be interesting to see how Scherzer will fare on a sore leg and out of his normal routine.