Nationals scratch Suzuki from Game 7 lineup

Washington catcher Kurt Suzuki was a late scratch from the Nationals' lineup for Wednesday night's World Series finale, manager Dave Martinez said.

Suzuki, who missed Games 4-5-6 due to a hip flexor strain, originally was in the starting lineup that will face Houston Astros right-hander Zack Greinke. Three hours before the first pitch, Yan Gomes replaced Suzuki, and he will catch Nationals starter Max Scherzer.

"After I came in today, talked about it, talked to Suzuki, I felt it would be best to just keep him on the bench," Martinez said. "Starting him (and) all of a sudden third or fourth inning he tightens up again, things may get a little hairy.

"Yan is playing good. Yan has caught Max before. I like Suzuki coming off the bench if need be, to pinch-hit or even to catch. So we did it that way."

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, was unable to make his Game 5 start due to an irritated nerve near his neck. He received a pain-killing cortisone shot that allowed him to start Game 7.

Martinez also was asked if Stephen Strasburg, who pitched 8 1/3 innings in winning Tuesday night's Game 6, would be available Wednesday.

"I'm going to talk to him later on," Martinez told the media. "Hey, there's no tomorrow. He's got 3 1/2 months off."

Houston ace Gerrit Cole, the Game 5 winner, was available out of the Astros bullpen for Game 7. Fellow right-hander Justin Verlander, who started and lost Game 6, also said he would help if needed before manager A.J. Hinch said that would not be the case.

"All hands on deck means most hands on deck," Hinch said.

--Field Level Media