Nationals’ Max Scherzer takes next step in return to action

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer has pitched just once over the past four weeks while dealing with a back injury.

The Cy Young candidate was originally placed on the injured list in early July. He returned for one start against the Colorado Rockies on July 25, but suffered a setback.

There’s now good news on this front. As expected, Scherzer took part in a bullpen session on Saturday. Nationals manager Dave Martinez noted that he felt good afterward.

Washington doesn’t want to rush Scherzer back to the bump, but the team might not have a choice. The Nationals currently sit at 61-54 and are the No. 1 wild card team in the National League. Though, another five squads are within 2.5 games of them.

Scherzer, 35, has been downright dominant when on the hill this season. He’s pitching to a 9-5 record with a 2.41 ERA and 0.99 WHIP while striking out a league-high 189 batters in 134.1 innings.