clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Max Scherzer will not pitch in All-Star Game; Nationals won’t have anyone in Midsummer Classic...

Neither Anthony Rendon (hamstring, quad issues) or Max Scherzer (back stiffness) are going to take part in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, though Scherzer will travel out to Cleveland for the Midsummer Classic.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer has been dealing with some back stiffness since his start in Detroit on June 30th, when he struck out 14 of 28 Tigers’ hitters while giving up a run on four hits in eight innings.

After the Nationals’ 34-year-old right-hander threw seven scoreless against Kansas City on Saturday afternoon (striking out 11 of 26 batters and giving up just four hits), Washington’s ace talked with the team and made the decision to skip the Midsummer Classic.

Scherzer will travel to Cleveland to represent the team — he and Anthony Rendon were the only two selected for the National League roster and Rendon bowed out with left quad and hamstring tightness over the weekend.

“Our season matters so much more than the All-Star Game,” Scherzer said when he talked to reporters about the decision before the “first-half” finale on Sunday.

“This was an opportunity to gain rest, and not for pitching in the All-Star Game.”

Scherzer is unbeaten in his last nine starts, with a 0.84 ERA, nine walks (1.27 BB/9), 94 Ks (13.22 K/9), and a .172/.213/.263 line against in 64 IP over that stretch. He did what he did against the Royals on Sunday, but said he didn’t want to push it by taking the mound on Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio’s Progressive Field, where the 90th annual All-Star Game is being held.

“I was able to take the mound and be able to pitch [103] pitches,” Scherzer told reporters on Sunday afternoon, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

“It was just something where I just can tell. I know my body pretty well. I just know I’m not going to be at my best if I try to pitch on two days’ rest, and I would really jeopardize our season if I were to try to do something like that. For me, right now, I know my body needs rest. That’s all I need.”

“He fought through some back stiffness yesterday,” Davey Martinez explained, “... and after the game he reiterated that he was stiff. It didn’t go away, so we sat with him last night and decided the best thing right now is for him to rest.

“He was adamant, he said he wouldn’t pitch in the game, so we decided rest right now.

“The All-Star break couldn’t come at a better time for him just to get some rest. He’ll get eight days now to recoup and get ready for his next start.”