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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.

Mookie Betts, Javier Baez leading off the All-Star lineups

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I can’t imagine what it’s like to fill out the lineup card for an All-Star team. Most of the guys are 1-4 hitters on their own teams, but you gotta slot most of them someplace lower. Egos are probably a consideration. Strategic stuff. “Which top of the order or middle of the lineup hitter is batting eighth?” is both a difficult and thankless question.

Dave Roberts and A.J. Hinch have to do it anyway, and today they released the All-Star lineups. Seeing Bryce Harper batting sixth and Manny Machado batting seventh is just not part of the usual baseball experience:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Jose Altuve, 2B
3. Mike Trout, CF
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B
6. Aaron Judge, LF
7. Manny Machado, SS
8. Jose Abreu, 1B
9. Salvador Perez, C

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Javier Baez, 2B
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
5. Matt Kemp, LF
6. Bryce Harper, CF
7. Nick Markakis, RF
8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Willson Contreras, C

Not that this is gonna hold for long what with all of the substitutions.