Scherzer could throw ‘pen session Saturday; Rendon’s toe “is fine”

NEW YORK - Nationals manager Davey Martinez said Max Scherzer did not have his bullpen session today but hopes the right-hander will be able to conduct the session Saturday.

Martinez said Scherzer instead went through a measured workout prior to tonight’s series opener against the Mets.

Scherzer-Talking-With-Suzuki-Gray-Sidebar.jpg“He’s progressing,” Martinez said. “He threw again today, light, but if he feels up to it tomorrow, he might throw a bullpen. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”

There had been a preliminary plan to have Scherzer throw a bullpen today, but Martinez wanted to take the starter’s progress at a more methodical pace.

“He talked about throwing the bullpen today but we have to keep him on schedule,” Martinez said. “He’s itching and he wants to get back but we got to be smart. I told him, ‘We’re going to make sure you’re right when you come back. Let’s make sure you’re feeling right.’”

Scherzer is recovering from a mild rhomboid strain that has had him on the shelf since July 26. Martinez said they are taking Scherzer’s rehab slow so when he does return, it’s for the stretch run.

“When he’s ready to go, we get him back for the duration,” Martinez said.

* Third baseman Anthony Rendon is starting tonight despite getting hit by a pitch in Wednesday’s 4-1 win at San Francisco.

“His big toe is fine,” Martinez said. “He’s ready to go today. Just bruised, that’s it.”

* First baseman Ryan Zimmerman is on the trip and went through his usual workout during pregame.

“He’s good, he’s coming, he’s getting closer,” Martinez said. “He’s running at about 75-80 percent. I think he’s going to be back soon.

“He’s been hitting, he’s been taking ground balls, he’s been doing it all. His biggest thing now, his next thing will probably be getting on the bases, running around the bases.”

* The last time the Nats were here at Citi Field they suffered through a miserable four-game series sweep at the hands of the Mets, and fell to 19-31. Since May 23, the Nats have gone 42-22 (.656).

“We talk about it all the time, we got healthy,” Martinez said. “The big key is we got healthy, the bullpen started pitching better. We always knew the starting pitching we had could keep us in games and just started playing overall good baseball.”

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