Nationals ace Max Scherzer nears return after being sidelined by injury
WASHINGTON — Nationals ace Max Scherzer is nearing a return after being sidelined by inflammation under his right shoulder.
Scherzer completed a bullpen session before Monday's game against the Colorado Rockies was postponed. The rainout will be made up Wednesday as part of a day-night doubleheader. The four-game series, which runs through Thursday, marks the Rockies' only trip to Washington this season.
Scherzer went 9-5 with a 2.30 ERA before the All-Star break, but was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to July 10.
"I did the full routine," Scherzer said. "Everything feels good. Ball's coming out of my hand exactly the way it should feel like at 100 percent. I've been wanting the ball, so hopefully I can pitch here really soon."
Scherzer is 7-0 with a sparkling 0.87 ERA in his last seven starts. Washington has juggled its rotation in Scherzer's absence, but the Nationals could time his return to ensure he faces the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves during their current homestand if he is activated Friday.
"We'll see how he feels tomorrow and we'll go from there," manager Dave Martinez said. "If he feels good, then he'll pitch at the end of this of this week somewhere."
That would be a welcome development for Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner eager to return to the field for a team in contention for a playoff berth.
"Bursitis is a nasty little thing here," Scherzer said. "I'm just glad I'm able to get through it, hopefully, and we never talk about this again."
Rockies manager Bud Black said right-hander Jeff Hoffman is a "prime" candidate to start Thursday's series finale against Washington. Hoffman, who was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday, has not pitched for Colorado since June 20.
Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman (plantar fasciitis in his right foot) was placed on the 10-day injured list. He missed 53 games earlier in the season with the same injury. "Now it's just really pain tolerance," Martinez said. "It can go away really fast. It can come back. It can take a while." . RHP Justin Miller (rotator cuff strain) was transferred to the 60-day IL.
Washington brought up right-hander Michael Blazek and outfielder Andrew Stevenson from Triple-A Fresno. The Nationals also optioned righty Kyle McGowin to Double-A Harrisburg.
Rockies: RHP Peter Lambert (2-1, 6.06 ERA), Monday's scheduled starter, was pushed back a day and will get the nod for the series opener Tuesday.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (12-4, 3.52 ERA) looks to become the majors' first 13-game winner this season. He is 5-4 with a 4.07 ERA against Colorado.
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