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It Is Unclear Just How Serious Max Scherzer's Hamstring Injury Is

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Washington Post - Everything was going well for the Nationals until the top of the fourth inning of Saturday night’s loss to the Pirates, when Washington’s infield saw something wrong with Max Scherzer and gathered around him. Scherzer stopped mid-windup, just after he raised his hands above his head, seemingly because Daniel Murphy called to him.

What Murphy had seen was an awkward landing from Scherzer on the previous pitch, one which sent the righty into a weird post-pitch hop, then on a long trek around the mound. Scherzer tried to clear out his right cleat. Then bent over as if stretching his hamstring. When he tried to throw another pitch, Murphy appeared to stop him, brought the infield in, and called for Dusty Baker and Mike Maddux to walk out.

“Max had a right hamstring cramp. We took him out for precaution,” Baker said. “We gotta make it to the playoffs healthy. So we thought it was better that we make that move, the precautionary move, to get him ready.”

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There are two things I know- the Nats injury situation has been a real motherfucker this season. Trea, Bryce, Stras, Werth, Eaton…the list goes on and on. And the Nats have overcome every injury, finally got back to being (basically) fully healthy, only for Max to leave the game in the 4th inning in his final start of his Cy Young-caliber season.

The other thing I know though, is that Max doesn’t miss starts, especially playoff starts, due to little injuries. Even a 70% Max Scherzer is better than 99% of pitchers in the league. But this doesn’t mean I’m not worried-

If this means Strasburg pitches game 1, Gio game 2, and then Max game 3, that’s fine and dandy. The Nats are so deep they can afford to push his start back a couple of games. Most teams do not have the luxury of substituting one Cy Young worthy starter for another. The Nats are afforded the luxury of being able to plug in Strasburg or Gio into the #1 pitcher role while they allow Scherzer to mend.