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.