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Max Scherzer tweaked his hamstring

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.