Scherzer hasn’t taken the mound since July 6 due to a mid-back strain. His return will be a boost for an already-surging Nationals club that has flipped the script after an awful April/May showing raised questions about the team perhaps operating as a seller. The Nats needed a dramatic turnaround, and they managed to author exactly that, as they’ve played at an outstanding 30-13 pace dating back to June 1. Washington now finds itself just four games back of the Braves in the NL East and in possession of an NL Wild Card spot.
Getting a healthy Scherzer only strengthens a powerhouse roster. The three-time Cy Young winner, who’ll turn 35 in two days, is putting together one of the best seasons of his career. Through 129 1/3 innings, Mad Max has posted a 2.30 ERA with 12.6 K/9 against 1.6 BB/9. Even though he hasn’t pitched in nearly three weeks, he’s still leading the National League with 181 strikeouts — a total that ranks fourth in all of baseball (behind Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Chris Sale).
Scherzer’s return isn’t the only news pertaining to the Nats’ pitching staff today, however. An MRI of right-hander Austin Voth’s ailing shoulder revealed tendinitis, manager Dave Martinez announced to reporters (Twitter link via Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com). He’s been shut down for the time being, and Martinez specified that the club will be “very careful” with the righty. Voth has made four starts and posted a 4.35 ERA through 20 2/3 innings with the Nats in 2019. He also has a 4.40 ERA and nearly 10 punchouts per nine innings pitched through 61 1/3 Triple-A frames, making him a key depth piece for the Nationals.