Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer is expected to miss this weekend’s three-game series against the New York Mets.
The Nationals had their ace on the injured list for much of July with a strained rhomboid muscle in his upper back. He pitched on July 25 but still felt uneasy with the injury. The Nats thus put him back on the IL on July 29, retroactive to July 26.
Per manager Dave Martinez, it’s expected that Scherzer will miss at least one more start before returning to the mound.
“We know he’s frustrated, but we’re going to get him right,” Martinez said, per Jamal Collier of mlb.com. “I told him, ‘You’ve got to trust the medical staff now. I know you want to pitch.’ He wants to pitch, but [we’ve] got to be safe. [We’ve] got to make sure he’s OK.”
This upcoming series is extremely important for either ballclub. The Nats currently lead the National League Wild Card race by 1.5 games. The Mets, on the other hand, are only trailing the Wild Card race by one game. Not to mention, New York is the hottest team in baseball at the moment.
The Mets have won 12 of their last 13 games, including each of their last five series. They’re 19-6 overall since the All-Star Break.
The last five series wins have come against low-level ballclubs, however. The Mets won series against the Pirates twice, the Marlins, the White Sox, and the Padres. This weekend’s series will be a real test for New York, followed by a three-game series against the NL East-leading Braves in Atlanta.