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Nationals announce playoff roster for NLDS vs. Dodgers

Nationals announce playoff roster for NLDS vs. Dodgers

The Nationals announced their 25-man playoff roster for their NL Division Series against the Dodgers on Friday morning and on it are a few surprises. Michael Taylor has earned the final outfielder spot, while Oliver Perez made it as the final reliever, while Matt Belisle was left off the roster entirely.

The Nationals will carry 14 position players and 11 pitchers. They need extra man power due to injuries in their lineup. By keeping Taylor and rookie infielder Wilmer Difo, they were well-positioned if Daniel Murphy (buttock) or Jayson Werth (back) aggravate their injuries or need to be replaced on defense or on base late in games.

Taylor is definitely the biggest shocker, as many had focused on Ben Revere and Brian Goodwin for the last outfield spot. Revere has the track record and Goodwin flashed promise down the stretch. But in Taylor, they have a guy who is decent vs. lefties - he had a .755 OPS - and the Dodgers feature some pretty good ones in their rotation. He can also play multiple outfield positions and brings speed as a pinch-runner. 

Belisle was excluded just over a week after manager Dusty Baker hinted he was a safe bet for the roster. Baker spoke of Belisle in terms of getting him ready for the postseason and how much guys like him can be used in the playoffs. Belisle posted a 1.76 ERA in 40 appearances this season.

Here's the full roster:





RHP Shawn Kelley

C Jose Lobaton

INF Stephen Drew

OF Bryce Harper

RHP Reynaldo Lopez

C Pedro Severino

INF Wilmer Difo

OF Chris Heisey

RHP Mark Melancon


INF Danny Espinosa

OF Michael A. Taylor

RHP Tanner Roark


INF Daniel Murphy

OF Trea Turner

RHP Joe Ross


INF Anthony Rendon

OF Jayson Werth

RHP Max Scherzer


1B/OF Clint Robinson


RHP Blake Treinen


1B Ryan Zimmerman


LHP Gio Gonzalez




LHP Marc Rzepczynski




LHP Oliver Perez




LHP Sammy Solis



[RELATED: Murphy looking good for Game 1 vs. Dodgers: 'I feel confident']

The Dodgers, by the way, are also going with an 11-14 split. Here is their playoff roster:

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Nationals beat Houston for the ninth straight time

Nationals beat Houston for the ninth straight time

HOUSTON -- Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer, Howie Kendrick had a two-run triple and the Washington Nationals beat Houston for the ninth straight time, 4-3 Tuesday night in a matchup of division leaders.

Washington's winning streak over the Astros dates to 2012. The Nationals have won 13 of 14 against Houston since 2011.

Kendrick's triple tied it in the third before the Astros went back on top with an RBI single by Josh Reddick in the bottom half. Anthony Rendon doubled with two outs in the fourth before the homer by Wieters, which landed just to the right of straightaway center field, gave the NL East leaders a 4-3 lead.

Tanner Roark (10-8) allowed six hits and two earned runs in 5 2-3 innings and Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.

Charlie Morton (10-6) gave up four runs in six innings for the AL West-leading Astros.

The Astros threatened in the eighth against Brandon Kintzler when Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel hit consecutive singles and the Nationals intentionally walked Carlos Beltran with one out to load the bases. But Max Stassi grounded into a double play to leave Houston trailing.

George Springer led off the Houston first with a single, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Reddick.

Beltran doubled off the wall in left-center field in the second and scored on a single by Derek Fisher.

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Why Nationals' Max Scherzer picked college over pros — at first

Why Nationals' Max Scherzer picked college over pros — at first

When Max Scherzer was a teenager, he didn't know that one day he'd actually become a two-time Cy Young Award winner. He had no guarantee he'd make it to the majors, much less play in five consecutive MLB All-Star games. 

All he knew was that he had the option to go pro as a kid or go to college, and back then, the Nationals' ace needed a contingency plan in case baseball didn't work out. Fortunately for Scherzer, it did, but he doesn't regret going to college at the University of Missouri, telling Santana Moss on CSN's "Route 89" going to school was a no-brainer.

"It was actually a really easy decision," Scherzer told Moss. "When you get drafted out of high school, you're going to be going into the minor leagues, and that can take three to five or six years — multiple years — in the minor leagues, and you're forfeiting your right to further your education."

Scherzer was drafted in the 43rd round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003, but he opted to play for Mizzou for three years, which turned out to be a great decision. The Arizona Diamondbacks then drafted him in 2006 in the first round as the 11th overall pick. 

"A lot of times when you sign out of high school, you don't make it to the major leagues," Scherzer continued. "So I realize that your education — that's your safety net.

"You need to further your education in college, and if you do get drafted out of college, you're in a much better position to try to chase your dreams because if it doesn't work out, you still have one year left of school and that's much easier to obtain rather than try to go through four years when you're not coming out of high school."

MORE NATIONALS: Stephen Strasburg returns to the mound