Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer figured his season was done when he reached 300 strikeouts earlier this week in a win over the Miami Marlins.
With the Nationals eliminated from playoff contention, there wasn’t much reason to force another start.
But the ever-competitive Scherzer hopes to take the mound on Sunday against the Colorado Rockies, but only if there are still playoff implications for the Rockies, who hold a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
The Rockies clinched at least a wild-card spot with a 5-2 win over the Nationals on Friday night, but are still looking to lock up their first division title.
“If there’s an elimination game on the line here against the Rockies, they want me to pitch,” Scherzer said, per MLB.com. “And for me the way I look at it, if there’s a playoff atmosphere on the line where somebody can get knocked out, that’s a heck of an environment to pitch in.
“Even though we’re playing for nothing, at least we can be able to toe the rubber knowing that the atmosphere here [in Denver] with the crowd and the other team would be playing at probably the highest level of any point I would face this year. Why wouldn’t I want to compete in that?”
The Nationals have yet to announce a starter for Sunday, but are reportedly inclined to let Scherzer pitch in such a situation.
Scherzer, who would be making his 34th start, threw a bullpen session on Thursday and would be pitching on his normal rest Sunday.
The Washington right-hander is 18-7 with a 2.53 ERA and 300 strikeouts in 220 2/3 innings this season.
–Field Level Media