Max Scherzer scratched for Game 5 of World Series

Oct 1, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) looks on from the mound during the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2019 National League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals have scratched All-Star starting pitcher Max Scherzer for Sunday’s Game 5 start in the World Series against the Houston Astros.

Washington announced that Scherzer is dealing with trap and neck spasms, which will force him to miss Game 5. In Scherzer’s absence, Joe Ross will take the mound against Houston.

It’s a massive blow for a team that desperately needed to grab momentum back in the World Series. The Nationals will now need Ross, who posted a 5.48 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 64 innings this season, to turn in the best start of the year.

If Ross is unable to work deep into the game or struggles, Anibal Sanchez is available out of the bullpen.

Washington is hopeful that with further treatment and rest, Scherzer could return to the mound for a potential Game 7 of the series in Houston.