Max Scherzer confirmed to start Game 7 of World Series

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It’s official: Max Scherzer will start Game 7 of the World Series for the Nationals against the Astros’ Zack Greinke. Scherzer said the cortisone shot he received worked, making him well enough to make the start on Wednesday night with everything on the line.

Scherzer, 35, was scratched from his scheduled Game 5 start due to neck and trapezius muscle spasms. The three-time Cy Young Award winner, who pitched with a broken nose earlier this season, said he couldn’t even lift his arm and needed his wife to help him get dressed.

Scherzer threw on the field at Minute Maid Park prior to Game 6 on Tuesday night, declaring, “I’m good.” As in, “good to go.” If Scherzer hadn’t been well enough to pitch, the Nationals would have relied on Aníbal Sánchez. Sánchez is not to be discounted, but he’s also not Max Scherzer. In 25 innings this postseason, Scherzer has allowed just six runs on 14 hits and 11 walks with 34 strikeouts. Sánchez has a 4.06 ERA in 31 innings in the playoffs to date.

Presumably, Scherzer will be pitching with no limitations, but expect the Nationals to have all hands on deck, including Sánchez and Patrick Corbin. Maybe even Stephen Strasburg after throwing 104 pitches in a gem on Tuesday. On the other hand, manager Dave Martinez will need an abundance of courage and no concern for his own safety to try to take Scherzer out of a World Series Game 7.

MLB homer leader Pete Alonso to IL with bone bruise, sprain in wrist

pete alonso
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PITTSBURGH — The New York Mets will have to dig out of an early-season hole without star first baseman Pete Alonso.

The leading home run hitter in the majors will miss three-to-four weeks with a bone bruise and a sprain in his left wrist.

The Mets placed Alonso on the 10-day injured list Friday, retroactive to June 8. Alonso was hit in the wrist by a 96 mph fastball from Charlie Morton in the first inning of a 7-5 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.

Alonso traveled to New York for testing on Thursday. X-rays revealed no broken bones, but the Mets will be missing one of the premier power hitters in the game as they try to work their way back into contention in the NL East.

“We got better news than it could have been,” New York manager Buck Showalter said. “So we take that as a positive. It could have been worse.”

New York had lost six straight heading into a three-game series at Pittsburgh that began Friday. Mark Canha started at first for the Mets in the opener. Mark Vientos could also be an option, though Showalter said the coaching staff may have to use its “imagination” in thinking of ways to get by without Alonso.

“I’m not going to say someone has to step up and all that stuff,” Showalter said. “You’ve just got to be who you are.”

Even with Alonso in the lineup, the Mets have struggled to score consistently. New York is 16th in the majors in runs scored.

The team also said Friday that reliever Edwin Uceta had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Uceta initially went on the IL in April with what the team called a sprained left ankle. He is expected to be out for at least an additional eight weeks.

New York recalled infielder Luis Guillorme and left-handed reliever Zach Muckenhirn from Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets sent catcher Tomás Nido to Triple-A and designated reliever Stephen Nogosek for assignment.

Nogosek is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 13 games this season.