HOUSTON — The Washington Nationals will play in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night.
And when they do, they'll have their best pitcher on the mound.
After missing his scheduled start in Game 5 on Sunday due to back spasms, Nationals ace Max Scherzer will start Game 7, Washington manager Dave Martinez confirmed following his team's Game 6 victory on Tuesday night. Martinez had initially said Scherzer would be ready to start in Game 7 prior to Game 6, which the Nationals ultimately won 7-2.
"As of right now, yes," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said when asked if Scherzer could start in Game 7. "He's good."
Although Martinez had initially said that Scherzer wouldn't be available for Game 6, the 3-time Cy Young Award winner did briefly warmup in the bullpen and appeared poised to enter the contest as early as the seventh inning. Martinez and the Washington staff, however, ultimately stuck with Stephen Strasburg, who allowed just two runs in 8.1 innings before closer Sean Doolittle recorded the game's final two outs.
With that, Scherzer will make his return to the mound on Wednesday for a winner-take-all Game 7. Assuming the 35-year-old right-hander is at full strength, one could argue there's nobody else the Nationals would rather be relying on, as Scherzer has amassed a 3-0 record in five appearances this postseason, compiling a 2.16 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched.
In Washington's 5-4 victory in Game 1 of the World Series, Scherzer earned the win, pitching 5 innings, allowing 5 hits and 2 runs while recording 7 strikeouts.
"I'm good," Scherzer told reporters after finishing a throwing session in the outfield of Minute Maid Park ahead of Game 6 on Tuesday