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Alex Ovechkin gets first pitch honors before Game 4 of NLDS

Divisional Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Washington Nationals - Game Four

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: Hockey player Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals celebrates after throwing out the first pitch before game four of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on October 07, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)

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Alex Ovechkin spent his night off Monday taking part in another sport in the Washington D.C. area. The Washington Capitals captain was on the mound before Game 4 of the National League Division Series to throw out the first pitch.

The Nationals ended up forcing a decisive Game 5 of their series against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 6-1 win as they look to copy the 2017-18 Capitals and win their first championship.

This was Ovechkin’s third time delivering the first pitch before a Nationals game. The first came after his rookie season in 2006. His most recent attempt came two days after the Capitals won the Stanley Cup and due to the effects of, well, celebrating, he was given two opportunities. (He also had the honor in 2011 before a Baltimore Orioles game.)

Ovechkin isn’t the first Capital to make news during the Nats’ playoff run. During the NL Wild Card game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Evgeny Kuznetsov celebrated the Nationals’ come-from-behind win with his famous bird celebration.

In support of the Nationals’ playoff run, the Capitals have been awarding a batting helmet to their player of the game. Rookies have earned both so far with the first going to defenseman Martin Fehervary and the latest to goaltender Ilya Samsonov following his first NHL victory on Friday night.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.