When Max Scherzer was born in St. Louis in 1984, the Cardinals were two years removed from a World Series win. As Scherzer grew up in the area, the Cardinals went through those gut-punch years of 8 exits from the postseason and three series lost in the World Series as he was growing up. He endured a lot of tough losses as a fan. Finally when Scherzer turned 21 and was in College, the Cardinals returned to glory with a World Series win. Out of Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Missouri, his hometown Cardinals drafted him in the 43rd round in 2003. Scherzer wisely decided to go pitch at the University of Missouri where he was scouted by Mike Rizzo who was with the Diamondbacks at that time, and they drafted him in the first round. Scherzer now has the chance to strike a blow on his hometown team if he can help his Nationals win today.
For the Cardinals, lose or win today, they will remain in first place in the NL Central, but they start a four game series starting tomorrow in Chicago against the rival Cubs who are 2.0 games behind them. With seven games remaining between those two teams, the math is simple that one of them will lose at least four games in the series. The combinations of win/loss outcomes are 7-0, 0-7, 6-1, 1-6, 5-2, 2-5, 4-3, or 3-4. That kind of looks like rolls on the craps tables sans the 7-0/0-7 combination. It might feel like a postseason series for those teams because the team on the losing end might be knocked out of the Wild Card.
Today’s matchup is between baseball royalty as Scherzer will face the 38-year-old righty Adam Wainwright who has stepped up for his team down the stretch. Many of the Nats has faced Wainwright before but much of the stats are from years ago. There is not a lot recent data, but it is good to see that both of the youngsters, Juan Soto and Victor Robles went 1-3 against him. In fact, Robles has a home run against Wainwright.
The Nationals have a day-off tomorrow in Miami before their weekend series there, and it could allow stand-in manager Chip Hale to push his players a little more.
Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals
Stadium: Busch Stadium II, St. Louis, Missouri
1st Pitch: 1:15 pm EDT
TV: MASN, FOX Sports Midwest, MLB Network (out-of-market), MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):