The Nationals have finally determined when they will use ace Max Scherzer in the NLDS against the Cubs: Game 3, MASN’s Mark Zuckerman reports.
Scherzer has been dealing with a right hamstring injury suffered during his last start of the season. He was expected to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, then didn’t, then was expected to throw a bullpen session on Thursday and didn’t.
The Nationals are in a tough spot. They obviously want to win in the playoffs, which would mean using Scherzer in a way such that he could make two starts in the NLDS if necessary. But he’s also signed through 2021, so the team doesn’t want to jeopardize his ability to contribute in future years.
Scherzer, 33, will be in the mix for the National League Cy Young Award after finishing 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and a 268/55 K/BB ratio in 200 2/3 innings in the regular season.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: