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DEVASTATING: Max Scherzer scratched for Game 5


Huge news out of Washington late this afternoon: Max Scherzer, scheduled Game 5 starter of the Nationals, has been scratched due to neck spasms.

Scherzer had apparently been suffering from neck pain for a few days but it was much worse this morning. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said a few moments ago that Scherzer is “in ungodly pain.” Given how hard it is to take the ball from the uber-intense Scherzer on most occasions, you have to imagine the pain is, indeed, immense.

In Scherzer’s place: Joe Ross. Which, I’m sure even Ross would acknowledge, is a massive downgrade from Scherzer. Ross has only pitched one game in the postseason, tossing two shutout innings in relief in Game 3. In the regular season he started nine games and relieved in 18, posting a 5.48 ERA.

With the series now, effectively, a best two-out-of-three, losing Max Scherzer is, potentially, a gigantic blow to the Nationals. For it not to be, Ross will have to pitch the game of his life.

No pressure.

Dustin Pedroia suffers a “significant setback” in his recovery

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Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has suffered “a significant setback” with his left knee, making his availability for spring training questionable. Abraham says that Pedroia is “discussing his options with his family, agents, and the Sox.”

Pedroia underwent “knee joint preservation” surgery last year, which is often used as an alternative to full knee replacement. As it was, he played in only three games in 2018 and appeared in just six games in 2019, accruing just three hits in 34 plate appearances.

In light of the severity of his injury, the severity of his surgery and all of the time he’s missed over the past few years, it was already something of a long shot for Pedroia play again as it was. Indeed, he himself was not even sure if he’d play again when asked at one point last season. But this sounds positively dire.