The Colorado Rockies clinched a spot in the 2018 playoffs with their win over Washington Friday night. Despite making the two consecutive postseason appearances for the first time in franchise history, the Rockies have yet to secure NL West divisional title.
Colorado holds a one-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West. If the Rockies beat the Nationals Saturday and the Dodgers lose to the Giants, the Rockies will clinch their first division title in the team's 26 years. If not, the NL West title will be decided Sunday. If that happens, Nationals ace Max Scherzer wants to pitch.
Sunday's regular-season finale makes no difference for the Nationals, who are already eliminated from postseason contention, but Scherzer said he would be ready to take the mound if it means a chance to ruin the Rockies shot at the NL West title. The Nationals have "TBA" listed as their scheduled starter for Sunday afternoon.
"If there's an elimination game on the line here against the Rockies, they want me to pitch," Scherzer told MLB.com. "And for me the way I look at it, if there's a playoff atmosphere on the line where somebody can get knocked out, that's a heck of an environment to pitch in.
"Even though we're playing for nothing, at least we can be able to toe the rubber knowing that the atmosphere here with the crowd and the other team would be playing at probably the highest level of any point I would face this year. Why wouldn't I want to compete in that?"
He added: "I want to pitch, but I also respect the decision if the Nationals decide they want to go in a different direction."
An NL Cy Young frontrunner, Scherzer left his last outing Tuesday with 33 starts this season, throwing 220 2/3 innings with 18 wins and 300 strikeouts.