Nationals

McClain practices with Raiders

McClain practices with Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) Oakland Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain met with coach Dennis Allen before returning to practice Wednesday after serving a two-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.

Allen would not discuss details of the meeting but said McClain would remain on the roster in a backup role after starting nine games this year before his suspension.

``I laid out exactly what the expectations are for him moving forward,'' Allen said. ``Really that's about it. We're moving on from there. Rolando's part of this team and we're going to move on.''

McClain had not been at the team's facilities since Nov. 28 when he was kicked out of practice following an argument with Allen. McClain was told not to return to practice and was suspended two days later.

That McClain is back with the Raiders is somewhat surprising considering he posted several comments on Facebook criticizing the team after he was sent home from practice. Those comments were later removed.

``Things get said in the heat of the moment,'' Allen said. ``We've gotta move on.''

Whether McClain has moved on is unknown.

The eighth overall pick in 2010, who posted that he was ``mentally done'' and ``just waiting on my papers'' after being sent home, did not appear in the Raiders locker room during the 45-minute media access period and did not issue a statement.

He practiced with Oakland's second-team defense Wednesday while Omar Gaither, who started at middle linebacker in place of McClain the past two weeks, continued to work with the starters.

Although neither McClain nor the Raiders have said publicly what the dispute between the two men was about, Allen acknowledged the linebacker was told before the suspension that he had lost his starting job on defense.

``Everybody makes mistakes in life, and to be honest I still don't know the whole story,'' Gaither said. ``I don't know who's at fault. (But) you welcome him back with open arms, put him back in the mix, and you just go from there.''

McClain was reinstated to Oakland's roster on Monday but was unable to meet with Allen because the coach was in Texas to attend his father's funeral.

In 41 career games with Oakland, McClain has 6 1/2 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, no fumble recoveries and did little to help improve Oakland's struggling run defense.

Other players who have struggled with the Raiders this season have already been released.

Starting cornerback Ron Bartell was cut on Monday as part of a handful of moves to open a roster spot for McClain. Backup fullback Owen Schmitt was also let go, three weeks after outside linebacker Aaron Curry - a projected starter before the season - was given his walking papers.

McClain has struggled so far in his career and has had his playing time sharply reduced in recent weeks, but Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie resisted the urge to cut him with three games left.

``Just different circumstances,'' Allen said. ``I'm not going to get into the specifics.''

Oakland's players didn't seem too concerned about McClain's return becoming a distraction.

``It hasn't distracted us for the past two or three weeks,'' quarterback Carson Palmer said. ``This team is completely focused on beating the Kansas City Chiefs and that's all we're going to worry about. If anybody has a problem with it I'll help guys through it, but it's no issue for us.''

Notes: Allen said there was ``a chance'' third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor will make his season debut against the Chiefs. ... DT Richard Seymour (knee, hamstring) is still limited in practice but the Raiders are hopeful he can play for the first time since Nov. 4.

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Max Scherzer set to start Game 1 of the World Series

Max Scherzer set to start Game 1 of the World Series

HOUSTON -- The simplest decision often rests as the correct one.

In this case, the Nationals selecting Max Scherzer to start Game 1 of the 2019 World Series qualified as the simplest decision.

Washington let the options publicly simmer until Monday afternoon when Davey Martinez said Scherzer would start Game 1. Stephen Strasburg will follow. The Game 3 starter is to be determined.

Scherzer has not pitched since Oct. 12. Monday, he was in left field throwing, the crack of a catcher’s mitt among the few sounds in Minute Maid Park before the Nationals’ evening workout began, prior to skulking around on the center field warning track by himself.

The six-day break between games prompted by an NLCS sweep was key for the Nationals’ biggest strength, their starting pitching. Strasburg is No. 1 in pitches thrown in the postseason. Scherzer is No. 2. They are the only two to throw more than 300 pitches in the postseason. No pitcher in the major leagues has thrown more pitches than Strasburg this season.

Scherzer and Strasburg starting Games 1 and 2 in Houston means they are in line for Games 5 and 6, respectively. Patrick Corbin’s availability for Game 3 will be dependent on his bullpen role in Games 1 and 2. Corbin brewed a mess in his first relief outing of the postseason. He allowed six earned runs in ⅔ of an inning against Los Angeles in Game 3 of the National League Division Series before pitching more effectively in future relief appearances.

“I haven’t really thought about it because we’ve kept winning,” Corbin said. “That night stunk. The next day, after that series [I] was fine. Never really thought about it. Right now, I’ve had a lot of time off, about a week now, I’ll be fresh to come in and give what they want. I’ve felt fine. I’ve kind of developed a little routine down there to stay loose. If they need me, I’ll be available.”

The Nationals considered pitching Aníbal Sánchez in Game 1, which would bump Scherzer and Strasburg to Games 2 and 6, and 3 and 7, respectively. They opted to send out their biggest strength immediately in the series, then will figure out Game 7 (which would be the Game 3 starter on normal rest). Martinez will go step by step following the first two games. 

As for Scherzer, he opted to skip the canned answer and express his excitement about pitching the same game as Houston starter Gerrit Cole, who has dominated for more than a year. 

“Of course,” Scherzer said. “I mean, I've been in the situation, faced really good pitchers here in the National League over the years; [Clayton] Kershaw, [Jacob] deGrom, those guys. You just know you've got to come out there, you're going to be throwing up zeros. And you've got to try to match the intensity from your opponent.”

Taken away from Scherzer is his chance to hit. Howie Kendrick will be the designated hitter in the first two games. Scherzer said not being part of the offense alters the vibe of the game for him. 

“It's just a different feel to the game of not grabbing a bat,” Scherzer said. “I've definitely grown accustomed to doing that, it kind of keeps you in the game flow even more. It feels weird when you get to the DH and you're not in that flow of the game offensively.”

That will be his situation Tuesday night when he opens the World Series in Houston.

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How To Watch Nationals-Astros World Series Game 1: Date, time, TV channel, live stream

How To Watch Nationals-Astros World Series Game 1: Date, time, TV channel, live stream

With the Washington Nationals pulling off a clean sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, there was a rather long break before the team could make its much anticipated World Series appearance. But, that wait has reached its end, as Tuesday marks the beginning of this year's fall classic.

On Saturday night, the Washington Nationals learned of their opponent: the Houston Astros. The AL West division winners took care of the New York Yankees in six games, clinching a berth in the World Series with a walk-off homerun by Jose Altuve. For Houston, this will be the second World Series appearance in three seasons, as the team took home the title in 2017.

But, this team maybe even better than that one. The core of Altuve and Carlos Correa now also features a rising superstar in Alex Bregman and a stellar bat in Michael Brantley to make the lineup one of the most potent. As for the pitching rotation, it's equally as dominant. One could make the case for either Justin Verlander or Gerrit Cole to take home the AL Cy Young, and the Astros have both. Oh, and they can also run out Zack Greinke for good measure. Cole hasn't lost a start since May (yes, you read that right) and while Verlander and Greinke have struggled at times in the postseason, they aren't exactly arms you want to face.

As impressive as Houston is, the Nationals pack their own punch as well. Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Juan Soto and NLCS MVP Howie Kendrick star in a lineup that has thrived on timely hitting in October. Add that to the four-headed monster of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Anibal Sanchez that handled the Cardinals with ease, and you have the formula for an exciting World Series.

It will be Scherzer against Cole in Game 1, here's everything you need to know about the series opener.

2019 World Series Game 1: Washington Nationals @ Houston Astros

Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Location: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX.

Time: 8:08 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

Broadcasters: Joe Buck and John Smoltz

Live Stream: FOX Sports

Radio: 106.7 The Fan (Washington DC Market), ESPN Radio (Nationally)

Weather: 70° F

World Series Schedule:

Tuesday, Oct. 22:
- World Series Game 1: Nationals @ Astros. Time: 8:08 p.m. TV Channel: FOX.

Wednesday, Oct. 23:
- World Series Game 2: Nationals @ Astros. Time: 8:07 p.m. TV Channel: FOX.

Friday, Oct. 25:
- World Series Game 3: Astros @ Nationals. Time: 8:07 p.m. TV Channel: FOX.

Saturday, Oct. 26: 
- World Series Game 4: Astros @ Nationals. Time: 8:07 p.m. TV Channel: FOX.

Sunday, Oct. 27: 
- World Series Game 5*: Astros @ Nationals. Time: 8:07 p.m. TV Channel: FOX.

Tuesday, Oct. 29: 
- World Series Game 6*: Nationals @ Astros. Time: 8:07 p.m. TV Channel: FOX.

Tuesday, Oct. 30:
- World Series Game 7*: Nationals @ Astros. Time: 8:08 p.m. TV Channel: FOX.

*If necessary 

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