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Max Scherzer loses no-hit bid against Cubs in seventh inning of NLDS Game 3

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Update (6:31 PM ET): Ben Zobrist broke up the no-hitter with a double to left-center field with one out in the bottom of the seventh. That brought Baker out to the mound with Scherzer at 98 pitches. After a 30-second chat with Scherzer, he brought in lefty Sammy Solis to face the left-handed-hitting Kyle Schwarber. Cubs manager Joe Maddon then had the right-handed-hitting Albert Almora, Jr. pinch-hit for Schwarber.

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So much for that hamstring injury. The Nationals pushed back ace Max Scherzer‘s debut in the NLDS until Game 3 because of a “tweaked” hamstring he sustained in his final start of the regular season. He was aiming for around 100 pitches on Monday.

Scherzer has held the Cubs hitless through six innings thus far in Game 3 of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. He’s issued three walks and struck out six on 90 pitches.

The Nationals gave Scherzer the lead in the top half of the sixth. Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber failed to catch a fly ball, then booted it away trying to reclaim it in left field, allowing Daniel Murphy to get to third base with two outs. Ryan Zimmerman then launched a two-out double to right field to plate Murphy. The Cubs, by the way, have committed four errors in this contest.

Don Larsen (1956) and Roy Halladay (2010) are the only pitchers to throw a no-hitter in the postseason — Larsen’s was a perfect game. We’ll keep you updated as Scherzer attempts to navigate the final three innings. Given that he’s already at 90 pitches, manager Dusty Baker may not want to risk the right-hander’s health by asking more out of him than he’s physically capable of giving.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
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On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.

After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.

Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.

The full statement:

Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.

We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.

We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.

Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.