Max Scherzer
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Nationals, Cardinals lineups for NLCS Game 2

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The Nationals kicked off the National League Championship Series with a strong performance from Aníbal Sánchez on Friday night, shutting out the Cardinals 2-0 as they claimed a 1-0 lead in the series. On Saturday, they’ll try to spin that into a two-game lead behind Max Scherzer, who currently owns a 2.77 ERA across three postseason outings so far this fall.

For the most part, the Nationals aren’t going to mess with the lineup that defended Sánchez’s near no-hitter. Michael A. Taylor has been bumped down in the lineup, while Yan Gomes has been moved to the bench as Kurt Suzuki returns from a hit-by-pitch:

  1. Trea Turner (R) SS
  2. Adam Eaton (L) RF
  3. Anthony Rendon (R) 3B
  4. Juan Soto (L) LF
  5. Howie Kendrick (R) 2B
  6. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 1B
  7. Michael A. Taylor (R) CF
  8. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
  9. Max Scherzer (R) P

The Cardinals will stick with the same configuration for Game 2, though they’re hoping for a drastically different outcome this time around. Wainwright is scheduled to take the mound for his second start of the playoffs, following an NLDS Game 3 loss in which he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings of two-walk, eight-strikeout ball against the Braves.

  1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
  2. Kolten Wong (L) 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
  4. Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
  5. Yadier Molina (R) C
  6. Matt Carpenter (L) 3B
  7. Tommy Edman (S) RF
  8. Paul DeJong (R) SS
  9. Adam Wainwright (R) P

Game 2 of the NLCS is scheduled for 4:08 PM EDT.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.

Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.

This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.

With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.