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Max Scherzer scratched for Game 5 with neck injury

The Nationals are sizable underdogs as Joe Ross replaces Max Scherzer in Game 5 of the 2019 World Series. We break it down.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Joe Ross pitches during the seventh inning against the Houston Astros in game three of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Scherzer met with the media and said the spasms began a couple days ago. He got some treatment and thought things were fine on Saturday, but he woke up on Sunday and, “was completely locked up.” David Aldridge with the update.

The Washington Nationals chances of winning the 2019 World Series just took a big hit. The team announced that Game 5 starting pitcher Max Scherzer has been scratched with a neck injury. Joe Ross will get the start in his place.

Scherzer was scheduled to face Gerrit Cole on Sunday, but neck spasms have cost him the game. Manager Davey Martinez said Scherzer suffered spasms yesterday in his upper trapezoid and neck and was feeling worse on Sunday, according to The Athletic’s David Aldridge.

Ross has made one appearance in the 2019 playoffs. He came on in relief two nights ago and threw two innings of one-hit ball. He appeared in 27 games during the regular season, making nine starts. He had a 5.48 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in the regular season. His last start came on September 29th against the Cleveland Indians. He got the win after throwing six innings of four-hit, one run ball.

First pitch is set for 8:07 p.m. on FOX. The Astros were a little over -300 favorites, but the money line odds came off the board for the time being.