There was some thought given to the idea that the Washington Nationals might go with Max Scherzer for their all-important Game 3 matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
That’s not going to be the case. Two days after striking out the side in an inning of work against the Dodgers, Scherzer will be sidelined. Fellow veteran Anibal Sanchez will get the start in his stead.
Washington’s 4-2 win over Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers in Game 2 Friday night made this possible. With the series tied at one and heading to the nation’s capital, there was no reason to start Scherzer.
Even if the Nats were to lose, they’d have Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg lined up for the final two games of the series. That’s an ideal scenario for manager Dave Martinez and Co.
Sanchez gets the nod in Game 3 after posting a solid 11-8 record with a 3.85 ERA and 1.27 WHIP during the regular season.
He put up a 0-1 record with a 3.18 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in two regular-season starts against the Dodgers.
Los Angeles will counter with Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu in what could very well be a must-win game for the defending NL champs.