Sunday, September 29, 2019

The numbers say that Stephen Strasburg and not Max Scherzer should get the start for the Nationals on Tuesday in the wild card game.

But Washington manager Dave Martinez is more than confident in Scherzer, despite two trips to the injured list this summer for the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

“I think he is going to be more than fine,” said Martinez, sitting in the Nationals dugout before the regular-season finale Sunday with the Cleveland Indians. “He is excited — rightfully so.”

Scherzer (11-7, 2.92 this year) has a postseason ERA of 3.73 in 82 innings while Strasburg (18-6, 3.32) has a mark of 0.47 in just 19 innings of work.

The Nationals won a season-high seventh straight game 10-7 at home over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night to clinch a home game in the National League wild-card game. Washington will face either the St. Louis Cardinals or Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cardinals entered the final day of the season with a one-game edge over the Brewers. If they end up tied, the teams would meet for the National League Central title Monday in St. Louis — with the loser flying to Washington after the game.

“We’re ready to play anybody, anywhere,” Scherzer said.

Martinez noted Strasburg and Patrick Corbin are available out of the bullpen Tuesday. And if the Nationals win, Strasburg or Corbin could be ready to start Game 1 Thursday on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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