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DEVASTATING: Max Scherzer scratched for Game 5

World Series - Houston Astros v Washington Nationals - Game Three

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 25: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals looks on prior to Game Three of the 2019 World Series against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on October 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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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.

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