On the last episode of the District 34 podcast, Byron and I were counting down to the Nationals clinching their second straight division title. Well, on Sept. 10, they did (with some help from the Braves) to secure the team’s fourth National League East crown in six seasons and a spot in this year’s playoffs.
To start this episode, we recap the celebration that took place at Nationals Park that day and what this division championship means for the Nats, Dusty Baker and Washington, D.C. as a baseball town.
Then, before we get to this week’s main topic, we have some updates and housecleaning points to discuss. Bryce Harper participated in a simulated game Tuesday in Atlanta, so what does that mean for his recovery and availability for the postseason?
Also, last night was a big night for three Nats players: Max Scherzer became just the fourth pitcher in major league history with four straight 250-plus strikeout seasons, Ryan Zimmerman eclipsed the 100-RBI mark for just the fifth 30-homer, 100-RBI season in Nats history and Trea Turner’s 42nd stolen base broke the club single-season record.
Now on to the main event. In the last episode, we asked listeners to start thinking about how they would set the Nationals’ NLDS roster. And this week, Byron and I have a lengthy discussion full of “ifs,” “ors” and “buts.”
Do you go with a seven-man bullpen and six-man bench, or an eight-man ‘pen and five-man bench? If Harper (and Brian Goodwin, for that matter) can’t go come October, who’s your backup outfielder? Does Victor Robles make the squad? Is Jose Lobaton or Pedro Severino the backup catcher? Which lefty among Enny Romero, Sammy Solís and Matt Grace make it? Do you add a long reliever like Edwin Jackson or Joe Blanton?
So many questions and we want to hear your answers! Let us know how you would set the Nationals’ playoff roster in the comment section below and on Twitter at @Bobby_Blanco and @masnKerr using #IBackTheNats.