The Washington Nationals look to have dodged a bullet on Saturday night, with Max Scherzer not believing he has a serious injury to his leg.
Washington is going to win the National League East. Barring some sort of miracle, it will be the second-seed in the NL playoffs and likely draw the Chicago Cubs in the Division Series. In other words, there is not a ton of drama for the Nationals heading into October baseball.
Still, injuries could derail Washington before the bright lights even turn on. On Saturday night, Max Scherzer was forced to leave his start against the Milwaukee Brewers due to tightness in his leg. While there was widespread panic in the immediate aftermath, it appears Washington and its fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
According to ESPN, Scherzer believes that the injury was nothing to fret about.
“It tightened up in the second,” Scherzer said of his left calf. “I could pitch on it but I couldn’t run. I could feel in my mechanics that I was still getting through the ball, so I knew I wasn’t in danger of hurting my arm.”
To this point, Scherzer has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. While he won’t win the Cy Young thanks to the incredible season of Clayton Kershaw (and others), the former Detroit Tigers star is dealing with a 13-5 record and 2.19 ERA. Scherzer also has 232 strikeouts in 168 innings while sporting a 0.85 WHIP.
Washington simply has to get healthy. Bryce Harper is still on the disabled list while recovering from a deep bone bruise on his knee that was sustained in early August. Without Harper or Scherzer healthy, the Nationals would be hard-pressed to do much damage in the postseason.