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The Morning Briefing: Good Luck Max and Trea

Here are today's latest headlines and analyses around the Washington Nationals for October 6, 2021

Good Wednesday Morning, Washington Nationals fans. Here is the latest around the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball for October 6, 2021.  

Tune in tonight for the NL Wild Card Game at 8:10 pm EDT when the St. Louis Cardinals head to LA and face the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers in a winner-take-all game on TBS.

Leading Today’s Briefing

Welcome Back Alcides Escobar … Yesterday, the Washington Nationals announced that the team agreed to a one-year deal witAlcides Escobar for the 2022 season. From the release: “Escobar, 34, hit .288 with 21 doubles, two triples, four homers, 28 RBI, 17 walks, 52 runs scored, and three stolen bases in 75 games for the Nationals. He joined the Nationals on July 3rd and from that point through the end of the season, ranked on the club in doubles (1st, 21), hits (1st, 92), and batting average with runners in scoring position (3rd, .379). 

Among National League hitters, his 21 doubles were tied for fifth while his 92 hits and his .379 average with runners in scoring position ranked sixth since July 3.”

The 2021 season was Escobar’s 12th major league season and has previously played for the Milwaukee BrewersBaltimore Orioles, and Kansas City Royals twice. Escobar also played in Japan for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows of the Nippon Professional Baseball League.

 RHP Cade Cavalli Named Number One In Baseball America’s Top 10 East League Prospects Last week, Baseball America ranked RHP Cade Cavalli, the top prospect in the East League. We have the details here.

Former Washington Nationals Player News: Alex Avila and Hunter Pence join as guest analysts this Thursday-Sunday on MLB Network. Only a couple of days into his retirement, former Washington Nationals catcher Alex Avila will be joining Hunter Pence as guest analysts this week on the MLB Network. Alex Avila made four consecutive trips to the Postseason as a Detroit Tiger (2011-2014), joining Hunter Pence who batted .390 in 11 World Series games with the San Francisco Giants. 

What a game in Boston. Anytime the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox face each other in the postseason, it is sure to be entertaining, and last night it didn’t disappoint at all.  The Redsox won 6-2 thanks in part to a Kyle Schwarber massive solo homer to right in the bottom of the third that helped lead to an early knockout for Gerrit Cole, the $324 million ace of the Yankees. Xander Bogaerts joined in the home run fun by launching a two-run home run off Cole in the bottom of the first.

Redsox Pitcher Nate Eovaldi pitched an impressive 5 1/3 innings on only 71 pitches, allowing four hits and a run while walking none and striking out eight. In his post-game press conference Boston RedSox Manager Alex Cora discussed Eovaldi’s performance last night: “When I went to the mound, he gave me this look, like, ‘What are you doing?’ It’s a tough game to manage, of course. If it’s a five-game or seven-game series, we’ll keep him there. But the way our bullpen was and the way we feel about them, I felt like that was the time.”

Nate Eovaldi walked off to the thunderous ovation he deserved, and Cora asked his ‘pen to get him the final 11 outs, clinging to a 3-1 lead at the time.

Good Luck Max and Trea… Two former Washington Nationals players will be in the starting lineup for the LA Dodgers tonight as they face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Wild Card. Max Scherzer is going to start for the Dodgers and right-hander Adam Wainwright will take the ball for the Cardinals. Wainwright is 4-5 and has a 2.89 ERA, with 118 strikeouts, in his postseason career. 

Scherzer is 7-5 and has a 3.38 ERA with 137 strikeouts, a total of 12 home runs in his postseason career.  The last time Scherzer pitched in the postseason was in 2019 with the Nationals, and went 3-0 with a 2.40 ERA, striking out 37 in thirty innings pitched. We all know how clutch he was back in 2019. 

Some bad news for the Dodgers. During this press conference yesterday Dodger Manager Dave Roberts shared that recent scans indicate that there is no ligament damage for LHP Clayton Kershaw, however, he will not be available to pitch for the Dodgers during the postseason, should they advance from the Wild Card Game tonight.

 The Nats Report

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