After today, 20 teams will begin their off-season and after the NL Wild Card game on Wednesday, there will be 22 teams in their off-season. Baseball’s elite 8 of post-season teams will start their division series and the Nationals are “in” and will be part of the crowded Friday schedule where all 8 remaining teams will be playing. The Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals are set for the NLDS, and today’s game is just a necessary step towards completing the regular season schedule.
This year, Major League Baseball had a great idea to schedule all 15 games to begin at the same timeframe from 3:05 to 3:20 pm EDT. Their reasoning was that no team should have an advantage if there was going to be a game that had post-season implications by having a game decided before another began. As it turned out, it won’t matter. The entire post-season match-ups were completed yesterday.
The Nationals are just playing for health and pride. Both took a “hit” yesterday when Max Scherzer tweaked his hamstring as revealed in an MRI and the Nationals lost a game where they had a lead in the 9th inning.
Max Scherzer said MRI confirmed it’s just a small tweak. Nothing major. He’s already running. But he said too soon to talk about Game 1.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) October 1, 2017
The Nationals line-up today looks like what we will see in Game 1 of the NLDS. How long the starters stay in the game today is another topic. Some players are playing for personal milestones, and Ryan Zimmerman is guaranteed to finish the season at over .300 on his batting average as he won’t get enough at-bats to lower his .304 batting average below .300. If Zim had a 0-7 game, he would still be at .300. Anthony Rendon is 3 RBIs from 100 on his season. Anthony Rendon is batting .301 and he could only go 0-and-2 and finish at .300. The Nationals should have 4 players over the .300 mark with Daniel Murphy (.320), Bryce Harper (.317), Ryan Zimmerman (.304) and Anthony Rendon (.301). Trea Turner is a 5-for-5 day away from a .290 batting average and 15 points from an .800 OPS.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park
1st Pitch: 3:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, ATT-Sportsnet Pittsburgh, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® XM 187 Sirius 99 (Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):
Here's how we're lining up for Game 162! pic.twitter.com/gB9MUvOcir
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 1, 2017