The Washington Nationals have been in this spot four times in their team history to find themselves in a “win or go home” NLDS elimination game, and today is their fifth. It is not necessarily as dark and ominous as it sounds because if the Nats win, they would force a “winner take all” game on Wednesday back in Los Angeles in a game five where the winner would advance to the NLCS. In the Nationals brief fifteen year history, they have played in three NLDS series that have gone to a game five. The Nats give the ball to Max Scherzer tonight to breathe life back into the Nats season.
The Nationals offense has to do their part too by scoring runs to get a lead, and hopefully giving the Nats some well-needed breathing room.
“All hands on deck [today],” manager Dave Martinez said. “We are going to come out, we’re going to fight and those guys know what we’re playing for. We want to go to L.A. That’s all this means. I told them that’s all this means. We would have to go to L.A. again.”
You can learn a lot about a team by how they handle adversity. The Nationals have had their backs against the wall for much of the season, and all they have to do now is win two games in a row to move forward. It is not a time to stop hustling and mail-in at-bats.
The Nationals will face the lefty Rich Hill in tonight’s game, and you can expect some changes in the lineup to matchup with him. Hill has not seen any action in this series while Scherzer was electric on Friday night in an inning of relief work where he struck out the side in a win in game two.
“For me, it’s just a mentality of just going out there with everything on the line,” Scherzer said. “The atmospheres I’ve pitched in, here with the Wild Card game and then there on the road in Dodger Stadium, I mean, it’s been intense so you’re going to get the best out of me.”
There is one other factor to keep an eye on which is the weather. Rain is in the forecast for after 6pm, and hopefully it will hold off until later in the evening.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals
Stadium: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
1st Pitch: 6:40 pm EDT
TV: TBS, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® ( Streaming Internet 869)
Line-up subject to change (without notice):