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Wire Taps: Nationals take 1-0 lead in NLCS; Aníbal Sánchez holds Cardinals at bay; Max Scherzer starts in Game 2

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while we wait for the start of Game 2 of the NLCS.

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MLB: NLCS-Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

“He had great tempo,” Davey Martinez said. “Good rhythm, but he pounded the zone. In, out, used all his pitches effectively.” He was talking about Aníbal Sánchez, of course.

Sánchez, the Nationals’ No. 4 starter, pitched like an ace last night in Game 1 of the NLCS, taking a no-hit bid into the eighth in what ended up a 2-0 win.

Go read your links. We’re going back to watch highlights of Sánchez in St. Louis...


Aníbal Sánchez:

Anibal Sanchez shuts down Cardinals - Washington Times
"Veteran right-hander Anibal Sanchez, with an assortment of off-speed pitches and guile, did not allow a hit until the eighth inning..."

Aníbal Sánchez’s near-no-hitter gives Nationals 2-0 win over Cardinals in Game 1 of NLCS - (WaPost)
"Some St. Louis Cardinals fans even clapped — because how could they not? — when Aníbal Sánchez was finally finished..."

Behind Sánchez's brilliance, Nationals take Game 1 (updated) - (MASN)
"Who cares if Sánchez doesn’t have Strasburg’s dominant stuff or Scherzer’s adrenaline or Corbin’s wipeout slider?"

Sánchez nearly tosses no-no in Nats' G1 win - (
"As he walked toward the dugout, Anibal Sanchez turned toward first base and gave José Martínez a salute, a sign of respect toward the only Cardinal to collect a hit against him all night."

Miles Mikolas had a great start for the Cardinals. Just not as great as Aníbal Sánchez - (WaPost)
"Mikolas tried to keep Nationals hitters honest by deceiving them."

Aníbal Sánchez shuts down Cardinals, puts Nationals in command of NLCS - (WaPost)
"Here’s the grocery list of items that worked against the Nats on Friday..."

Soto Shuffle:

Juan Soto’s shuffle draws more scrutiny than ever against the Cardinals - (WaPost)
"Miles Mikolas turned to the Washington Nationals’ dugout, chewed his gum and grabbed his crotch."

Roster Notes:

Kurt Suzuki will play for Nationals in Game 2 - (WaPost)
"The 36-year-old was evaluated for a possible concussion after he was hit in the head with a pitch Wednesday night."

With final four outs, Doolittle completes Nats' one-hitter - (MASN)
"It’s kind of an awkward situation for a reliever. You want your teammate to throw a no-hitter. But you also have to be mentally ready to take over if called upon."

Runs at premium, Nats' lineup depth pays off - (
"Game-planning for the Nationals’ offense? It’s not rocket science: Start with Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto, arguably the most fearsome three-four duo in the sport."


For Nationals, an Old Tactic Proves a Good One - (New York Times)
"For all the new wisdom in baseball, some theories stay timeless. One in particular guides Mike Rizzo in building annual contenders for the Washington Nationals."

Dave Martinez made all the right moves for the Washington Nationals - (Beyond the Box Score)
"Considering the playoffs are supposed to be the best facing the best, you’d think it wouldn’t be so surprising to see a team have a basically flawless string of decision-making."

MLB Playoffs: Nationals' Sanchez nearly no-hits Card in NLCS win - (NYPost)
"Ten runs in the first inning of their last postseason game for the Cardinals. No hits Friday night against the Nationals’ Anibal Sanchez through 7²/₃ innings..."

Cardinals Game 1 starter Miles Mikolas said his gesture mimicking Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was 'good-natured' - (ESPN)
"St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas decided to give Soto a little taste of his own medicine Friday."

Aníbal Sánchez Dominates the Cardinals, Gives Nationals Series Lead - (Fangraphs)
"But unlikely or not, Sánchez took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, was rarely in any trouble, and gave the Nationals exactly what they needed in the first game of the NLCS."

Shut down in Game 1, how will Cardinals' bats fare against the Nats' big three? - (ESPN)
"The good news: One hit is better than no hits. The bad news, Cardinals fans: You might not want to look at the next three starting pitchers for the Nationals."

MLB playoffs: Anibal Sanchez loses no-hitter in 8th, Nationals win - (USA TODAY)
"The Washington Nationals’ first-ever National League Championship Game was bound to be historic. Anibal Sanchez nearly made it doubly so."

NLCS Game 1: Aníbal Sánchez gives Nats early series advantage - (Yahoo!Sports)
"In Game 1 of the NLCS, his game because his turn and none of theirs came up, Sánchez did not allow a hit to the St. Louis Cardinals until there were two out in the eighth inning."

Anibal Sanchez's performance wows young stars and established vets in Nationals' clubhouse - (Sporting News)
"Anibal Sanchez carved up the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday night, holding them hitless into the eighth inning in the most important non-clinching contest of the most important series in franchise history."