Brian McCann is hoping to be ready by Opening Day

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Brian McCann was projected to miss the first few weeks of the season following shoulder surgery, but he’s more optimistic about it:

“If all goes well, it’s going to be hard for me to sit there and watch the team on Opening Day, if I’m feeling good … Being three months out of surgery, I feel like I’m ahead of schedule.  I feel better each day, and I’m very encouraged by the signs that I have received recently. Now that I’ve had the surgery, I can tell a huge difference with my range of motion and flexibility. This is as free as my shoulder has been for a few years.”

His speedy and effective return would eliminate a pretty big headache for the Braves. They signed Gerald Laird, but they lost David Ross, so if McCann is absent or ineffective, the catching corps is quite depleted compared to last season.

It would help him too, of course. He’s entering the final year of his contract.  If he returns to form and shows durability, he’s going to get a pretty massive deal for next year, one would assume.

Video: Daniel Hudson gets the final out to send Nationals to World Series

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Nationals fans will cherish this moment for a long, long time: Daniel Hudson got Tommy Edman to fly out to Victor Robles in center field for the final out of NLCS Game 4, wrapping up a 7-4 victory and completing a series sweep. The Nationals earned entry into the World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Here’s a recap of the game if you’re into that kind of thing.

The Nationals will anxiously watch the conclusion of the ALCS, which the Astros currently lead two games to one after defeating the Yankees 4-1 on Tuesday.