At this point in the year, the fact that there are relevant Nats links that aren’t post-mortems or questions about where Anthony Rendon will sign is a miracle in and of itself. Everything is icing on the cake from here on out.
With that said, the Wild Card game is still two days away and it has immediately become a form of punishment I would never wish upon my worst enemy. With all due respect to Rob Manfred, please bring back the old playoff format in which the Nats would’ve just been allowed to face the Dodgers in peace.
Here’s the scoop from South Capitol Street:
Brandon Woodruff starts Wild Card Game (MLB.com)
Woodruff likely won't get more than a few innings in the Wild Card game as a function of not being stretched out coming off an oblique injury; his last two starts didn't go more than two innings. That said, the righty says he's up to the challenge.
5 things to know about how the Nats match up with the Brewers (NBCSW)
The Brewers are missing Christian Yelich, but they may be able to make Max Scherzer pay for his recent location troubles, seeing as they walk quite a bit. (Also, expect a *lot* of pitching changes.)
Barrett returns to pitch at Nats Park for first time in four seasons (MASN)
As the Nationals Park crowd roared, Aaron Barrett made his first jog on to the Nationals Park mound in four years during the regular season. Though he ended up allowing a run, his first appearance in DC since August 5th, 2015 was an adrenaline rush he hadn't felt in a long time, he said.
Milwaukee Brewers to face Washington Nationals in National League Wild Card game on Tuesday (Brew Crew Ball)
After Woodruff throws 50-60 pitches, the Nats will likely face Drew Pomeranz, Josh Hader, Brent Suter, and Junior Guerra — and Ryan Braun and Lorenzo Cain will be healthy for the game.
The Brewers are headed to face Washington in the wild-card game (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
"Washington has the worst bullpen in baseball, but the bad news is the Brewers almost certainly won't face anyone in the bullpen in the wild-card game. If Scherzer falters, then Strasburg (18-6, 3.32 ERA) will be on regular rest and will be available for several innings. Heck, even Patrick Corbin (14-7, 3.05) might be available for a little bit given the winner-take-all format. It's not a great outlook for the Brewers' injury-depleted offense."
Brewers-Nationals 2019 NL Wild Card Game preview (MLB.com)
Which no-name Brewers player will ruin an entire season? Which reliever will inexplicably stifle the offense? Also, will the Nats want to add an extra reliever or run with a bigger bench?
Nationals take care of business in season finale, will face Brewers in NL wild card (WaPo)
The Nats finally know they're facing the Brewers on Tuesday night. The rest on Sunday didn't matter, but it was a heartening performance all around.
Nats sweep Indians, now bring on the Brewers (MLB.com)
In a helpful turn of events, Juan Soto finally showed signs of breaking out of his slump as the Nationals nearly matched the 1914 Boston Braves in their resilience from 12 games under .500.
Nats complete huge turnaround with perfect homestand (MASN)
The Nats finished the year on an 8-0 tear, Kurt Suzuki looked healthy enough, Joe Ross looked great, Gerardo Parra kept it going, and the Nationals held on to their momentum—as much as any team can—heading into October.
After final tune-up today, Nats begin planning for Tuesday (MASN)
“I hardly ever sleep,” Davey Martinez said. “But what I really like about today is: I get to go home, have dinner, spend some time with my boys, who are here, and enjoy the night and not worry about hopping on a plane.”
Ranking the top 50 players in October (MLB.com)
Rendon and Scherzer come in fifth and sixth, while Strasburg, Soto, and Corbin also crack the list.
Here's a complete guide to the playoff bracket (MLB.com)
"Key matchup: Four of Milwaukee's top hitters -- Mike Moustakas (6-for-36), Yasmani Grandal (1-for-16), Cain (0-for-15) and Braun (0-for-14) -- are batting a combined .086 lifetime against Scherzer." (Ed. note – this means that Moustakas, Grandal, Cain, and Braun will combine for eighteen RBI on Tuesday.)
'20 Draft order set: Here's where each club picks (MLB.com)
Assuming the Nats don't sign a player attached to a qualifying offer, they'll get the 22nd shot in the first round next year.