- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

MLB’s postseason is getting closer. 

The Washington Nationals kick off their last road trip of the regular season Tuesday when they take on the Atlanta Braves for a three-game series. The series is the beginning of a nine-game road trip with the Nationals playing in New York and Philadelphia. 

The Braves (67-81) have played the Nationals tough this year despite their losing record, splitting the season series 8-8 so far.

Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman is batting .359 against the Nationals with 13 RBIs, his season-high against an individual team. 

Nationals player to watch: Max Scherzer

Scherzer, who pitches Tuesday, struggled against Atlanta last week, giving up a season-high seven runs and six walks in six innings. The former Cy Young winner also threw 116 pitches, leading to questions about whether manager Dusty Baker was using him too much before the playoffs

Scherzer defended himself, saying it was part of a plan.

“I thought that would help benefit me going forward and then looking ahead into the postseason, to pitch with some extra fatigue,” he said. “Usually, I’ve been able to do that in the past. But because of all the little injuries I’ve been dealing with, I haven’t really been able to get past 100 pitches for quite a while.”

Pitching matchups

Tuesday: Scherzer vs. Luiz Gohara

Wednesday: Gio Gonzalez vs. Lucas Sims

Thursday: Tanner Roark vs. R.A. Dickey

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