It's April in Washington which means the Nationals are beginning their regular season with high hopes, and the Capitals are gearing up for the rigorous grind of the NHL postseason.
They are the city's two best teams and their seasons overlap twice a year. And although the Nats are busy these days, pitcher Max Scherzer is among those rooting for his crosstown counterparts.
"I know we all are going to be pulling for them in the clubhouse," Scherzer said on Tuesday. "It's exciting. It's the best time of the year, especially locally in the area to see a local team in the playoffs."
Scherzer attended a Capitals playoff game last spring with several of his teammates including Bryce Harper and Gio Gonzalez. They saw the Caps beat the New York Rangers in Game 4 of their second round series.
Scherzer never played hockey growing up - basketball was his winter sport - but he realized he has a lot in common with some of the Caps players.
"We found a way to be able to get to a game and that was a lot of fun being able to watch them win. I got to meet the guys afterwards. There were a lot of similarities," he said.
Having pitched in a World Series, Scherzer knows something about going on deep playoff runs. When told about the Capitals' new hats with the roman numeral for 16, signifying the number of wins it takes to capture a Stanley Cup, he said he likes the idea.
"Anything that brings the team together," Scherzer explained. "Understand that 'hey, we're all in this together.' I know I've been on different teams before where we have different sayings. When you get to playoff time, everybody go out there and do your job. You gotta have as much fun with it as possible because there are so much distractions and media and this and that. Whatever you can do as a team to get everybody on the same page and thinking about one goal, that's what works best."
The Capitals begin their playoff run at Thursday at 6 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet.