Washington (AFP) - Washington Nationals star pitcher Max Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday in game five of the World Series due to spasms in his right neck and trapezius muscle.
The 35-year-old won game one of the best-of-seven Major League Baseball final and his absence puts the Nationals at a major disadvantage with the series deadlocked 2-2.
"For Max to miss a game like this, he has got to be hurting," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.
"He's really upset and wants to be out there with his teammates."
Scherzer went 11-7 with a 2.92 earned-run average and led all major league pitchers with 7.364 strikeouts for every walk issued this season.
Scherzer made his seventh consecutive All-Star Game appearance this year. He's a three-time winner of the Cy Young Award as top pitcher and a three-time National League strikeouts leader.
While Scherzer had been on the injured list in July with a strained upper back muscle, this latest injury was unrelated to the earlier one, Martinez said.
"He was in there with the training staff yesterday getting all kinds of treatment," Martinez said. "He woke up and told them right away he was really hurting."