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Washington Nationals at New York Mets: Grapefruit League GameThread

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Max Scherzer makes his second Grapefruit League start this afternoon when the Nationals take on the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Florida’s First Data Field. LISTEN: MLB.com’s GameDay audio...

MLB: Spring Training-Houston Astros at New York Mets Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer starts for the Washington Nationals this afternoon in Grapefruit League action against the New York Mets at 1:10 PM EDT in Port St. Lucie, Florida’s First Data Field.

It will be Scherzer’s second start of the Spring after the 32-year-old right-hander made his 2017 debut with 4 23 innings on the mound last Wednesday afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals in which he gave up five hits, a walk and two runs.

Scherzer, whose preparation for the 2017 campaign was delayed by a stress fracture in his right ring finger, told reporters after the 73-pitch outing that he was happy to be back on the mound.

“To be out there competing, throwing all my pithes, throwing them for strikes, that’s a great first outing,” Scherzer said.

“Getting my pitch count up, executing all my offspeed pitches, so coming out of that very good.”

Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, that he was relieved to see Scherzer back on the mound in competitive action.

“Boy,” Baker said, “that makes me feel a whole lot better.”

Though Scherzer’s not going to make his third straight Opening Day start for the Nats, he will, barring any hiccups or setbacks, be in the Nationals’ rotation for the start of the 2017 campaign, with an eye on the third game for his first outing, which, Scherzer said, is all he could ask for considering how far he’s come.

“Considering where I was at coming into spring training,” he said, “to not have to go to the DL, that’s a huge feat.”

Here’s the Nationals’ lineup behind Scherzer for this afternoon’s matchup:

NOTE: This afternoon’s game between the Nationals and Mets is available via MLB.com’s GameDay audio only, so you’ll have to listen in to hear how Scherzer’s second strart of the Spring goes...