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World Series: Nationals' Max Scherzer cleared for possible Game 7 start

By Connor Grott
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer was scratched from his start in Game 5 because of neck spasms. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer was scratched from his start in Game 5 because of neck spasms. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer was cleared to return after being scratched from his Game 5 start because of severe neck spasms.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez told reporters Tuesday that Scherzer is now expected to start Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday, if the team can stave off elimination against the Houston Astros in Tuesday night's Game 6.

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"He threw and felt good. We'll see what transpires between now and tonight," Martinez said. "But he says he feels good. As of right now, he'll definitely start Game 7."

Martinez said Scherzer had a throwing session in the outfield at Minute Maid Park before Game 6. The veteran pitcher received a cortisone injection Sunday to alleviate the pain in his neck.

"He couldn't do anything for 24 hours," Martinez said. "He definitely flew with us [to Houston]. He was in a neck brace. We sat him in first class, so he had a lot of room. ... He threw flat ground today after not being able to move his neck and [trapezius] for two days. We're at the point now where we'll see how he feels in the next couple of hours."

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Right-hander Joe Ross replaced Scherzer on the mound in Game 5. The Astros beat the Nationals 7-1 to grab a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Nationals will send Stephen Strasburg to the mound in Game 6 against Justin Verlander. If Scherzer experiences a setback and can't start Wednesday, Anibal Sanchez would be expected to pitch on regular rest.

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