Nationals

Quick Links

Max Scherzer plays catch; hamstring 'tweaked' not strained

usatsi_10319138.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer plays catch; hamstring 'tweaked' not strained

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer bounded up the stairs from the dugout to the field on his way to his usual post-start catch Sunday, the white compression sleeve on his right leg the only indication that he was dealing with what the two-time Cy Young Award winner said an MRI exam showed was a "tweaked" hamstring.

Scherzer left his last regular-season start after only 3 1/3 innings on Saturday night after feeling something in his hamstring while throwing a changeup. The club sent Scherzer for an MRI as a precaution.

"Showed exactly what we thought: Nothing major. More of a tool to help know how we need to treat it. We have a pretty good idea of what we need to be able to do to get back out there. The good news thing about this is, I can walk and run around on this. It's not a major strain or anything, where it's debilitating," Scherzer said Sunday in the home clubhouse at Nationals Park. "So I'm pretty upbeat and positive about going forward here."

What he would not do is weigh in on whether he would pitch Friday in Game 1 or Saturday in Game 2 of NL East champion Washington's NL Division Series against the reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs.

The Nationals have not said whether Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg is their planned Game 1 starter.

"It's tough to say right now, when we're not even 24 hours out" from the leg problem surfacing, Scherzer said. "We're still trying to get all the doctors to take a look at this and make sure that we have the absolutely correct diagnosis. But we have a really, really good idea of what we've got here."

Scherzer, who won the NL Cy Young Award last season to go with his 2013 AL honor for Detroit, is a contender again this season. He leads the NL in strikeouts with 268 and his 2.51 ERA is second to Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Scherzer finished with a 16-6 record.

"It's never good when your ace walks off the mound in the fourth inning of the second-to-last game of the season," Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said, "but he feels optimistic about it."

This is the latest health issues in 2017 for Scherzer, who spent time on the disabled list in August with a neck problem and left a start in early September after a batted ball struck his left calf.

"Frustrating as all get-out. I've done such a good job of taking care of my body over the course of my career and have never come out of starts, and this year I think I've come out of three. That's frustrating for me, because I always take pride in pitching deep into games and taking the ball every fifth day," said Scherzer, who bounced on his toes in the clubhouse to show reporters his leg felt fine. "Unfortunately, some of these injuries are out of my control right now. Because I'm doing everything I can to stay out there on the mound and to try to be healthy, but unfortunately, I've got a few ailments."

NOTE: RHP Shawn Kelley said that no decision has been made on how to treat the bone chips in his right elbow that limited the range of motion in his pitching arm even more than it already was after two Tommy John surgeries. In addition, he said Sunday, he "started having sensations in my hand and numbness and tingling and stuff." An operation is a possibility. "We're still waiting to consult with people and try to get the best plan of attack," said Kelley, who went on the 60-day disabled list Saturday. "Obviously, I've got a special case with my elbow. It's very fragile."

Quick Links

Max Scherzer thoroughly enjoyed the All-Star experience in D.C.

Max Scherzer thoroughly enjoyed the All-Star experience in D.C.

All-Star Weekend is entertaining for fans and provides and much-needed break in the 162-game MLB season.

It’s not all just for fun, though. Following his start Tuesday night, Max Scherzer shared the benefits of being able to spend a few days sharing a locker room with players from across the league.

Being in the clubhouse, talking to veterans, talking to guys who have been here, getting to know everybody, getting the personalities, you can actually learn a lot from the other players in the league. They’re watching you, they’re watching your team and you get these conversations and it’s great. You’re talking about everybody and you find little things in the game that make them successful and what made you successful and see if you can get better.

Scherzer also didn’t hold back when talking about how great a job the city and his team did hosting the rest of the league. This is his sixth season as an All-Star, so he's speaking from quite a bit of experience.

It was awesome, what an atmosphere. I thought we were a great host team, all the other players in here loved the facilities and the treatment they received - D.C. did it right.

So according to Max Scherzer, the All-Star Game is great, but All-Star Weekend in D.C. is as good as it gets.

More Nationals News

Quick Links

All-Star effort once again proves Washington, D.C. is, in fact, a sports city

All-Star effort once again proves Washington, D.C. is, in fact, a sports city

It’s been an exciting summer for sports in the nation’s capital. 

The Caps won the Stanley Cup for the first time ever and the city celebrated accordingly. The narrative regarding Washington D.C. as a mediocre sports town began to shift.

A city known for its overwhelming number of transients was overflowing with civic pride. 

About a month later, D.C. hosted the MLB’s annual All-Star Game, and all the festivities that come along with it.

And it was a huge hit.

Sidewalks and restaurant windows were plastered with the All-Star Game logo, welcoming visitors to the city. 

Tens of thousands of people attended FanFest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center downtown. The Convention Center was practically converted into an MLB shrine offering countless interactive exhibits, facetime with former pros and masses of signed memorabilia.

Plenty of locations, particularly in the blocks surrounding Nats Park, offered food and drink specials to baseball fans, providing great alternatives to people who couldn’t make it to the game.

Most importantly, the whole event got a huge stamp of approval from the players. Bryce Harper did an exceptional job creating a great experience for the fans, from his Home Run Derby win to his walk down the red carpet.

Afer his start, Max Scherzer said verbatim "D.C. did it right." 

Several other D.C. athletes, including Ryan Kerrigan and John Wall, were out celebrating in support of their city.

If there was any doubt before D.C. could handle big-time sporting events, there isn't anymore.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: