With no Daniel Hudson in the bullpen (Paternity Leave), no Kurt Suzuki (who usually catches Aníbal Sánchez) behind the plate, and no Victor Robles (hamstring) in center, the Nationals managed to take Game 1 of the NLCS with the Cardinals behind a stellar start by Sánchez in St. Louis.
Washington’s skipper Davey Martinez said before last night’s game, however, that he would have Suzuki and Robles back soon.
“Yeah, you know, with Robles, once again, it’s kind of a day-to-day thing. He’s about 80 to 85 percent. If you know Victor, he’s an all-out guy, he’s not going to let up. So we want to make sure when we get him back, to me it’s worth him missing another day or two to get him fully back, hopefully,” the second-year manager explained.
“Like I said before, with Michael [A. Taylor] playing center field we don’t miss much defensively. And Michael’s swinging the bat and doing really well right now.
“Suzuki, he still has more tests to take today. So right now we’ll know, I’ll know more in the next coming hours or something like that, but we need to be cautious. When it comes to a head injury, we got to make sure that he’s good to go.”
Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty wrote early this morning that Martinez told him Suzuki was cleared to return to the lineup and was likely to be behind the plate with Max Scherzer today, after the starter posted a 2.08 ERA in 99 2⁄3 innings pitched working with the veteran catcher as opposed to his 4.09 ERA in 72 2⁄3 IP with Yan Gomes.
As for Hudson, who was home with his wife for the birth of their child, Martinez said after last night’s win that the reliever was on his way to St. Louis to join the Nationals.
“Yeah, he’s got a 6 o’clock flight, he’ll be here for the game,” Martinez told reporters in his post game press conference.
Sánchez tossed 7 2⁄3 scoreless last night, giving up just one hit, and the Nationals scored two runs on 10 hits and went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and 13 left on base on the night in Game 1, but they frustrated the Cardinals who managed just one hit and a walk and had two batters reach base via hit-by-pitch.
“We had a really good offensive club,” Cards’ skipper Mike Shildt told reporters after the loss last night. “Sánchez was really good tonight. Not a lot out there that we saw, that I saw that was in the middle, really changed speeds, did a terrific job. It’s interesting, it’s baseball, it’s one of the reasons we love it. We scored 13 in an elimination game and came right back and the guy threw a great game. But there’s no — nothing but optimism about all our players and our offense for sure. We’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
Scherzer will be ready to go too, you can count on that. 4:08 PM EDT today in St. Louis.
Suzuki is back in, but Robles is still not in the lineup. Hudson was reinstated earlier this afternoon.