For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Max Scherzer posted an ERA below 3.00 and a WHIP below 1.00 while throwing 200 or more innings. Since the start of the Expansion Era in 1961, only four other pitchers have matched that level of dominance (Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, Juan Marichal and Sandy Koufax), and no pitcher has delivered five seasons at that level. Scherzer nearly fell short with his workload in 2017, as a series of minor injuries in the second half cost him time. Fortunately, none of the injuries (neck, calf, hamstring) were to his arm. Skills wise, he's showing no signs of slowing down as he rolls through his early 30s, as his 34.4 percent strikeout rate (12.0 K/9) was a career-high while opposing hitters hit a meager .176 against him. Further refinement of the changeup has given Scherzer yet another plus weapon for his arsenal, and as long as he's healthy, his eventual decline should be a very graceful one. He'll be among the first few pitchers off the board again in 2018.
Scherzer will be available out of the bullpen if he's needed for Game 4 of the NLDS on Wednesday, Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune reports. Since Scherzer won't be able to make another start after toeing the rubber during Game 3 against the Cubs on Monday, he will be active in a relief role for the remainder of the series according to general manager Mike Rizzo, with "all hands on deck" as the team faces elimination. During Monday's outing, Scherzer allowed just one earned run on one hit and three walks while striking out seven in 6.1 innings.
Scherzer (hamstring) was named as the starter for Game 3 of the NLDS against the Cubs on Monday, Dan Kolko of MASN Sports reports. Scherzer was able to go through a bullpen session Friday, and should be good to go for Game 3 in Chicago. Manager Dusty Baker also confirmed that Gio Gonzalez will take the mound for Game 2 on Saturday. With Scherzer throwing Monday, he won't be able to make two starts this series, but could be an option out of the bullpen during a pivotal Game 5, if it's necessary.
Scherzer (hamstring) will toss a bullpen session Thursday, Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune reports. Manager Dusty Baker has held off on announcing his rotation for the NLDS, besides listing Stephen Strasburg as Friday's Game 1 starter, which leaves Scherzer's status up in the air as to whether he will be able to go Saturday for Game 2, or wait until the series heads to Chicago for Game 3. It appears as though the club wants to see how Scherzer's bullpen session goes before making a decision, so expect an announcement on his status within the near future.
Scherzer (hamstring) was able to play catch on flat ground Wednesday but did not partake in his previously planned bullpen session, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Scherzer threw from the stretch and windup during his time on flat ground, and looked relatively pleased following about 10 minutes of catch. Although he failed to make an appearance in the bullpen, everything seems to be in line for the right-hander to take the mound for Game 3 of the NLDS once the series moves to Chicago. Nothing has been announced at this point, but there is sure to be an update coming from manager Dusty Baker in the near future as to Scherzer's status.
Scherzer (hamstring) is hoping to start Game 3 of the NLDS against the Cubs, Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com reports. Scherzer tweaked his right hamstring during his final start of the regular season, though he remains adamant that the issue won't keep him from pitching in the NLDS. The Nationals aren't expected to announce their NLDS rotation until after Scherzer's scheduled bullpen session Wednesday, but if everything goes well, it sounds like he could make his first start of the postseason in Chicago on Monday. If Scherzer is cleared to pitch Game 3, Stephen Strasburg would get the ball for Game 1, with Gio Gonzalez the likely option to start Game 2.