Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer will not be available in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, the team confirmed on Thursday.
Instead, it will be Stephen Strasburg taking the hill when the Nationals take on the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the series at Nationals Park on Friday night.
According to the team, Scherzer, who suffered a leg injury in his final start of the regular season, will throw a bullpen session on Thursday and could potentially pitch in Game 2 of the series. If he is unable to pitch, then Gio Gonzalez will face the Cubs in the second game in the nation’s capital.
Scherzer is a prime candidate for his second straight Cy Young Award after going 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA in 31 starts this season. He has been particularly good against the Cubs in his career as well, holding them to a .195 batting average in six starts against the North Siders.
The Cubs have already announced their starting rotation, as Kyle Hendricks will face Strasburg in Game 1 and Jon Lester will be on the hill for Game 2. Jose Quintana will pitch for the Cubs in Game 3 at Wrigley Field, and Jake Arrieta is scheduled to start in Game 4 at the Friendly Confines.