WASHINGTON– In what should have been all celebrations in the Nationals clubhouse immediately after the Nationals handed the Dodgers their worst loss of the season, crushing them 11-4 all the attention was directed to Max Scherzer’s health and the likelihood of Scherzer suiting up on Tuesday in a pivotal matchup against the Braves.
Max Scherzer did not throw his scheduled bullpen today and is ‘unlikely’ to start Tuesday’s game against the division leading Braves who the Nationals trail by five-and-a-half games.
Scherzer still could make a start on Wednesday in the third and final game of the Braves series if his back allows him to take the mound.
Scherzer was supposed to be shut down on Friday and Saturday after he woke up Friday morning with more back pain after his start Thursday afternoon against the Rockies. Scherzer then underwent an MRI and received a stem cell shot under his right shoulder.
Scherzer said he felt back pain after his start against Kansas City in early July but it was worse than what he experienced Friday morning. Scherzer took the bump last Thursday against the Colorado Rockies pitching five innings, allowing three runs and stuck out eight.
Scherzer’s back has been bothering him since his start in Detroit in late July before sticking it out until the All-star break which caused him to miss the All-star game. Scherzer saw no progress with the original treatments doctors gave him before and a week after the All-star game.
Team doctors and Scherzer originally believed the injury was a mid-back strain but after seeing little-to-no progress the injury has now been diagnosed as Scapulothoracic bursitis.
Scherzer had to google what Scapulothoracic bursitis was when the test results were revealed to him this week received a cortisone shot on July 16 which is supposed to help eliminate the pain in five-to-six days.
Scherzer said that he realized it wasn’t a mid-back strain when his body didn’t respond to the treatment and saw a doctor on July 15 which led to a cortisone shot on July 16.
The Nationals have the best record in baseball since May 26 and much of the season turnaround and surge can be accredited to Scherzer’s intensity and success on the mound.
On the season Scherzer is pitching to a 5.2 WAR which is good for second best among all pitchers in baseball. Scherzer has also pitched to a 2.41 ERA but has been a better pitcher than his ERA states as he’s pitched to a 2.09 FIP which ranks first among all pitchers.