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Washington Nationals name Max Scherzer World Series Game 1 starter vs Houston Astros

It’s going to be Max Scherzer for the Nationals against Gerrit Cole in Game 1 of the 2019 World Series.

League Championship Series - Washington Nationals v St Louis Cardinals - Game Two Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Both GM Mike Rizzo and Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez suggested already Max Scherzer would likely get the nod in Game 1 of the World Series over the last week, but this afternoon in Houston, TX, Martinez made it official.

Scherzer will be the first D.C.-based pitcher to start a World Series game since General Crowder took the mound in Game 5 of the World Series on October 7, 1933.

“It’s going to be Max Scherzer tomorrow,” Martinez told reporters.“[Stephen Strasburg] will pitch Game 2, and not decided on Game 3 yet.”

Scherzer, 35, dealt with injury issues this season which limited him to 27 starts and 172 23 IP in the regular season, over which he put up a 2.92 ERA, a 2.45 FIP, 33 walks, and 243 Ks, and he’s made four appearances (three starts) so far in the 2019 Postseason, putting up a 1.80 ERA with eight walks and 27 Ks in 20 IP thus far.

Astros’ skipper A.J. Hinch, who’ll be throwing Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander in the first two games of the 115th World Series, talked this afternoon about knowing what Houston faces in the first two games of the series in Minute Maid Park.

“I think this particular series,” Hinch said, “you’ve got to beat their starters. If you want to do well against the Nats, you’ve got to beat their starters, and then make them make decisions as the game goes on. If you sit back and kind of wait for the bullpen or wait for them to make a decision, you’ll look at Strasburg and Scherzer throwing 120, 130 pitches and you’ll be too deep in the game to make up a difference. Those guys getting 21, 24, 27 outs is a real possibility for them. And that makes it tough either way.”

“If you look at this whole series, both sides got unbelievable starting pitching,” Martinez added.

As for Cole in particular, the 29-year-old, seven-year veteran, who put up a 2.50 ERA, a 2.64 FIP, 48 walks, and 326 Ks in 33 games and 212 13 IP in the regular season, the Nats’ skipper said they know that he is a really tough opponent.

“What I’ve seen of him, he’s really good,” he said.

“But we’ve known that, even in his Pittsburgh days, faced him a lot. He’s really good.”

So far in the postseason, Cole has a 0.40 ERA, eight walks, and 32 Ks in three starts and 22 23 IP, going (3-0) in two outings against Tampa Bay and one against New York.

“So it’s going it to be -- like I said, it’s going to be a lot of fun. I just want our club to go out there and have fun and play the game like we’re capable of playing, and kind of focus on the little things.”

It all starts at 8:08 PM EDT tomorrow night in Minute Maid Park...