Washington Nationals: Storylines to watch with series in Wrigley

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Washington Nationals
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What to expect from Max Scherzer

It is rare that you see a team in the postseason pitch their ace in Game 3 as a non-wildcard team, but Scherzer gets an opportunity to keep the momentum in the Nats favor with a good outing this afternoon.

Scherzer hasn’t pitched since September 30 after leaving that game early with a hamstring injury. It is unknown as to how severe that hamstring injury is, but it was severe enough to keep a gamer like Scherzer from pitching the first two games.

The one question to have about the ace going into this outing is how he will hold up in the middle innings of this game. Remember, in the second half, he was constantly leaving games or being scratched from games with injuries. In the postseason, it will take a lot to keep Scherzer from throwing. Yesterday, he said how he thinks he will be able to throw 100 pitches.

In his postseason career, Scherzer is 4-4 in 16 games (12 starts). However, he is 0-2 in his last three October outings and that includes going winless in two starts against the Dodgers last year. So, you could say he is looking to get a small postseason monkey off his back.

Now, Scherzer had a good outing against the Cubs on June 27 when he went six innings, gave up one run on two hits, and struck out six on 93 pitches in a win at Nats Park. However, his last start at Wrigley Field should be a concern.

Back in May 2016, Scherzer had one of his worst outings in a curly W uniform on a Friday afternoon at Wrigley. He went five innings, gave up seven runs, seven hits, and four home runs in a loss. Two of those home runs were by Ben Zobrist and one came from Anthony Rizzo.

While I am not expecting Scherzer to be his dominant self in this game, expect a quality outing and enough to keep the Nats offense in this game. It is clear starting pitching hasn’t been a problem yet for the Nats and expect that trend to continue today.