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Max Scherzer tweaked his hamstring

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Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer was pulled from his start on Saturday after sustaining a right hamstring cramp in the fourth inning. It sounds like there’s nothing to worry about just yet, even after the Nats had Scherzer undergo a precautionary MRI following the game. While the injury wasn’t expected to complicate the right-hander’s plans to start Game 1 of the NLDS on Thursday, he took a more cautious tone on Sunday.

It’s not the best news to hear as the Nationals prepare to enter the playoffs next week, but the prognosis could be much worse. The 33-year-old righty told reporters that he can still run without pain and was able to take the field for a game of catch prior to Sunday’s season finale against the Pirates. The club has yet to announce any potential replacements for Scherzer, should they choose to bump him to a Game 2 or Game 5 start against the Cubs.

Scherzer exited his final start this weekend with a 16-6 record in 31 starts, complemented by a stunning 6.0 fWAR, 2.51 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and career-best 12.0 SO/9 over 200 2/3 innings in 2017.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.