What started during Spring Training as a mission, a postseason berth could become a reality for the Washington Nationals tonight if Max Scherzer gets the win and the Cubs lose in their game in Pittsburgh. While the Nats can only control their own destiny, they have their ace on the mound to accomplish the Nats part of ratcheting down the Magic number that is currently at 2. If the Cubs do not lose tonight, clinching a postseason spot will move to tomorrow.
The Nationals have been excellent in doubleheaders this season and they look for their fifth doubleheader sweep since 2018. The Phillies will start their best pitcher, Aaron Nola, in this game. The righthander is showing the wear from this demanding season. But don’t plan on the Phillies making it too easy on the Nats, even though the Phillies have been officially eliminated from any chance of making the postseason, and will be resting some players. In fact, the Phillies are now approaching the possibility of dropping under .500 as their record is just 79-77. This is the same team that was in 1st place in mid-June.
Manager Dave Martinez said after the first game of the doubleheader that he asked his starters if any of them wanted to sit tonight, and nobody asked to opt-out so Davey only changed his catcher and first baseman. Yan Gomes seems to start every day, and he basically has done that as he also caught Austin Voth on Friday night. Matt Adams who was dealing with a AC joint strain in his right shoulder will make his first start in nearly two weeks.
The Phillies are resting Bryce Harper as well as J.T. Realmuto who is experiencing some knee pain, and with the Phillies out of contention, you can understand that their manager, Gabe Kapler, will put players’ health before winning. Unfortunately for Kapler, his managerial life is on the line per the rumor mill.
The weather tonight will feel autumnal as temps will dip into the 60°s as the sun goes down. There is a scheduled pre-game flyover by the Air Force to celebrate the military. The Nats will be wearing their blue patriotic uniforms.
Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 7:05 pm EDT
TV: MASN, NBC Sports Philadelphia, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):