Nationals Presumed Game One Starter Max Scherzer Sent for MRI on Hamstring (UPDATE: "Minor Tweak")

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Nationals Presumed Game One Starter Max Scherzer Sent for MRI on Hamstring (UPDATE: “Minor Tweak”)

Chicago Cubs

People don’t always believe me when I say it, but it’s absolutely true: I have mixed feelings, at most, when I hear about a key player on an opponent potentially being injured. I simply can’t root for injuries, even knowing they might help the Cubs, because I’ve seen the injury shoe on the other foot too many times.

That feels particularly true when the injury at issue is a hamstring problem for the Nationals’ ace, which doesn’t look like too much at first glance, but then we remember what has happened to Jake Arrieta this month.

Max Scherzer left the Nationals game yesterday, his final tune up before a presumed Game One NLDS start against the Cubs, after landing awkwardly on a pitch to Josh Bell (the same batter Jake Arrieta was facing when his hamstring strain occurred). He was going to throw another pitch, but stopped, and was removed from the game with what was termed a cramp at the time.

From there, he went to get a “precautionary MRI”, which may or may not show anything. If I’m a Nats fan right now, I’m very nervous, because you tend not to immediately go to get an MRI for something that you’re pretty sure is just a cramp. That said, with the playoffs this week, and Scherzer’s very next start so critical, I can understand why the team and the pitcher might jump to get an MRI much more quickly than usual.

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

So, then, as a Cubs fan, what are you thinking in this moment? Odds remain that Scherzer is fine. And even if he’s not, it’s plausible that his spot in the rotation could be shuffled, and the Nats aren’t that much worse for the wear going with Stephen Strasburg in Game One, and then Scherzer in Game Three.

If Scherzer is not fine, however, or if he suffers a re-injury in Game One, this is obviously as significant as an injury story gets. In the postseason, an ace who can dominate another team for 7 or 8 innings is the most valuable player in the sport. Scherzer, who very well may win a second straight Cy Young award, is that guy.

We will thus be watching the news on Scherzer extremely closely.

UPDATE: The results of the MRI sound kind of mixed to me:

To me, it sounds like it wasn’t a total nothing cramp situation. Moreover, although Scherzer is right that a pitcher could go in games 2 and 5 on normal rest, would the Nationals rather do that than have Stephen Strasburg go a second time on extra rest?

We’ll have more on this soon.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.