Max Scherzer couldn’t get out of bed on his own Sunday morning, forcing the Nationals to scratch him from his start in Game 5 of the World Series against the Houston Astros. Two days later, he played catch in the outfield, walked off the field and told a group of reporters, "I'm good."

His pitching coach Paul Menhart spoke with MLB Network before Game 6 and said, “if he’s able to move tomorrow, expect him to pitch” in Game 7.

Menhart said the right-hander is “incrementally getting better” from the neck and trap spasms that forced him to miss the game Sunday and is moving around more easily than he was before. Scherzer was administered a cortisone shot, which typically takes 48 hours to kick in.

“I'm as disappointed as I possibly can be not to be able to pitch tonight,” Scherzer said Sunday. “It's Game 5 of the World Series. I've pitched through so much crap in my career that that would be easy to pitch through at this point. This is literally impossible to do anything with.”

The Nationals went on to lose that game, although it was hardly the fault of spot starter Joe Ross. The Nationals scored just one run in an eventual 7-1 defeat; Ross allowed four runs over five innings of work.

Washington will turn to Stephen Strasburg in Game 6 to help the Nationals stave off elimination after falling down 3-2 in the series.

If the Nationals do manage to win Tuesday, then they’re at least more optimistic than they were over the weekend that Scherzer will be available to help them steal a title.

 

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