Washington Nationals: Max Scherzer Won’t Return vs. Milwaukee

mdholleran
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 08: Starting pitcher Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals reacts after throwing a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on September 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. Max Scherzer #31 pitched a complete game as the Nationals won 10-3. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 08: Starting pitcher Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals reacts after throwing a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Nationals Park on September 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. Max Scherzer #31 pitched a complete game as the Nationals won 10-3. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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The Washington Nationals announced their pitching probable for this weekend’s series against the Milwaukee Brewers, and Max Scherzer is not one of them.

Earlier this week it appeared as if Washington Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer was finally ready to return to the mound for the first time since July 25. The Cy-Young winner threw a sim game on Tuesday, felt good after on Wednesday, and said he is ready to pitch in a big-league game.

It seems as if the Nationals organization feels otherwise. Washington announced today that Anibal Sanchez will start Saturday followed by Erick Fedde on Sunday.

Now just because Scherzer says he feels that he is ready to go, ultimately it is the training staff and manager Dave Martinez’s decision as to when to bring the big right-hander back. It does raise some eyebrows however because this series with Milwaukee could be big in terms of the postseason.

The Brewers currently are just one game back of the Chicago Cubs for the second wild-card spot, and with a sweep, they could leapfrog ahead of the Nationals in the standings. The Brewers also are a better team, with a lineup including Christian Yelich and Mike Moustakas, than the Pittsburgh Pirates who the Nationals will face directly after this series.

Now it’s possible the Nationals just want to be as careful as possible with Scherzer, and I mean who can blame them. When on the field Max has been the best pitcher in baseball this season, and when he returned from his first IL stint on July 25, he did not look like the same guy.

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If the Nationals are to make a deep postseason run, they need Max Scherzer as healthy as possible. We all want to see Mad Max back on the mound as soon as possible, but Washington is smart to handle this situation carefully. Not pitching him this weekend against Milwaukee will not ruin your season, but if you pitch him and he gets hurt, it will.

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