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Max Scherzer Out of Game 5 of the World Series With Back Spasms

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22:  Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals reacts after retiring the side in the fifth inning against the Houston Astros in Game One of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Max Scherzer will not start Game 5 of the World Series, as the Washington Nationals' ace is dealing with spasms in his back and neck. Joe Ross will start in his place.

Scherzer, the three-time Cy Young Award winner, was set to face off against Houston Astros ace Gerrit Cole in a highly-anticipated pitching matchup Sunday night. Instead, Ross will get the nod in an incredibly important game in a tied World Series.

The 26-year-old Ross has made just one appearance this postseason, it came in Game 3 of the World Series. He threw two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. In 2019, he made 27 appearances, with nine starts. He posted a 4-4 record, with a 5.48 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, and 57 strikeouts against 33 walks in 64.0 innings. So the downgrade from Scherzer to Ross is incredibly steep.

We'll see how the Nationals rally around Ross after losing their best pitcher. Scherzer had been stellar in the postseason, making five appearances (four starts) and posting a 3-0 record, with a 2.16 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 34 strikeouts against 11 walks in 25.0 innings pitched.

Scherzer is a true ace and now he's out of the most important game of the year.