After dropping two consecutive games, the Nationals were set to turn to their ace Sunday night with the hope of swinging the momentum of the World Series back in their favor.

Unfortunately for Washington, it now will have to call an audible.

Nats manager Dave Martinez announced a few hours before first pitch at Nationals Park that Max Scherzer had been scratched from his scheduled Game 5 start due to spasms in his upper right trapezius, per ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle. Scherzer, per Doolittle, initially started to feel pain Saturday while walking and felt more discomfort Sunday. The lack of improvement overnight prompted Martinez to scratch the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

Scherzer failed to log 30-plus regular-season starts this year for the first time since his rookie campaign in 2008. The absences largely were due to back problems, but Martinez doesn’t believe the latest injury is related to those issues. It’s unclear at this time whether Scherzer will be able to pitch again this series, which currently is tied 2-2.

Joe Ross will start for Washington in place of Scherzer opposite Houston Astros star Gerrit Cole. First pitch is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images