Max Scherzer expressed understandable frustration with the injury issues that have cropped up this season when he spoke to reporters on Sunday afternoon, after he’d been lifted from his final regular season outing on Saturday night just 3 1⁄3 innings in when he tweaked his hamstring.
“Frustrating as all get-out,” Scherzer said. “I’ve done such a good job of taking care of my body, over the course of my career, and I’ve never come out of starts, and this year I think I’ve come out of three. That’s frustrating for me, because I always take pride in pitching, pitching deep into games, taking the ball every fifth day, so unfortunately, some of these injuries are out of my control right now, cause I’m doing everything I can to stay out there on the mound and try to be healthy, but unfortunately, I’ve got a few ailments.”
Dusty Baker was asked, after learning the results of an MRI on Scherzer’s leg, if the latest injury issue would affect his plans for the rotation in the NLDS.
“Probably,” he said. “But he’s going to be fine, it’s just a matter of when we’ve got to determine when that when is.”
Dusty suggested Nats will wait to see how Scherzer's bullpen goes before deciding on their rotation.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) October 3, 2017
According to reports out of Nationals Park today, where the Nats held workouts as part of their preparation for the Division Series with the Chicago Cubs, though they haven’t yet made a decision, it’s looking like Stephen Strasburg will get the nod in NLDS Game 1.
“We really haven’t decided exactly,” Baker told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman:
“We have a couple days to decide. Stras threw a pen. Max is supposed to throw one, hopefully, tomorrow. We’ll see. And then we will make a determination sometime prior to game time.”
Scherzer was clear that it’s not a matter of “if” but is a matter of “when” he’ll pitch in the NLDS.
“Oh, I’m pitching in the NLDS,” Scherzer said. “I’m pitching in the NLDS.”
“Having” to turn to Strasburg isn’t exactly the worst thing, of course.
Strasburg, 29, finished the final month of the season strong with a 0.83 ERA, a 1.54 FIP, seven walks (1.93 BB/9), 40 Ks (11.02 K/9) and a .167/.228/.184 line against in 32 2⁄3 IP, capping off a solid 2017 campaign in which he went (15-4) with a 2.52 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 47 walks (2.41 BB/9), 204 Ks (10.47 K/9), and a .203/.265/.317 line against in 175 1⁄3 IP.
So when will Scherzer start against the Cubs if Strasburg gets the series opener with Chicago?
According to FanRag’s Jon Heyman’s sources, “... the right-hander is targeting Game 3 as his playoff debut.”