Washington Nationals: 3 storylines to watch in NLDS Game 2

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: Gio Gonzalez
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: Gio Gonzalez /
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How will the Nats’ offense fare against Jon Lester?

Few active players, if any, are more decorated than Jon Lester. The 33-year-old is a three-time World Series champion and has pitched to a 2.63 ERA in 22 career postseason appearances.

Experience in the postseason certainly helps, and Lester has more than enough, but he is still beatable. Lester pitched pretty well in his two starts against the Nats this season, allowing four runs over 12.2 innings.

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If the Nats are going to beat Lester tonight, they must get to him early and set the tone. The pressure is on the Nats to win and split the first two games, and the Cubs have all the momentum after game one.

Another benefit of the Nats getting to Lester early is that it will allow Gonzalez to settle in. Gonzalez has proven to be a bit erratic at times, but an early lead could settle him down and lead to a solid outing.

Like Gonzalez, Lester struggled at the end of the regular season. He is just a month removed from a lat injury, and has not pitched particularly well since returning. Throughout August and September, Lester pitched to a whopping 5.51 ERA in 10 starts.

One intriguing matchup tonight will be Lester vs. Matt Wieters. Wieters struggled for most of the regular season, but is 8-for-26 (.308) career against Lester. Wieters has also come through in the clutch several times for the Nats, and any hit in the postseason can prove to be clutch.

Tonight is essentially a must-win for the Nats, and they must get to Lester in order to have a chance.

Next: NLDS TV/Radio/Streaming Guide

Although the Nats got off to a rough start to the series in game one, they will be in good shape if they win tonight. How Trea Turner performs at the top of the Nats’ lineup, how Gio Gonzalez pitches, and how the Nats fare against Jon Lester will all be storylines to watch in what appears to be a must-win for the Nats.

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