This is the opportunity Max Scherzer wanted.E sentially. Basically. Kinda.It’s not Game 1, but the Nationals’ right-hander and Cy Young favorite is taking the mound Monday with an opportunity to put his team in control of the NLDS against the Matt Williams Jersey Cubs, the reigning World Series champions. The series is tied, 1-1, heading into Game 3.This is going to be a crazy atmosphere here at Wrigley, Scherzer said during his Sunday pre s conference. I can’t wait to toe the rubber.MORE: Three takeaways from Nationals’ Game 2 winWhen Scherzer was cruising along during the regular season and allowed himself to think about his first postseason start, though, he probably didn’t imagine that happening at Wrigley Field.See, Scherzer is the ace of a very good Nationals staff, and Game 1 was basically his birthright. And because the Nationals’ record was so very good, Game 1 of the NLDS was going to be at home, not on the road. The way the NL standings have evolved through the season, that’s been a near-certainty for months.This franchise hasn’t won a playoff series since moving from Montreal to Washington, D.C., and Scherzer who had a 2.51 ERA and 268 strikeouts in 200 2/3 innings was supposed to be the guy toeing the rubber in the opening game. He was supposed to be the guy Nationals fans turned to in hopes that their team would take a 1-0 series lead.Instead, his last start of the regular season ended abruptlywith a hamstring injury. An MRI showed it wasn’t a worst-case hamstring injury, but any injury that happens on Sept. 30 is a big deal to a playoff-bound team. Not much time for healing.Once he was ruled out for Game 1, the question became When does he pitch? Here’s Scherzer on that dilemma:It was a proce s of going through every scenario and weighing the risk versus reward of, you know, knowing that I probably wasn’t going to be able to pitch Game 1. And then looking at the schedule here for five games, and knowing that Strasburg could pitch 1 and 5; that by pitching Game 3, that gives us a couple https://www.giantsedge.com/san-francisco-giants/matt-williams-jersey extra days to build extra strength into my leg, which I needed, and also provides the po sibility that if you do pitch Game 3, that you could be in relief for Game 5, if need be.”So we kind of ran down every scenario of what a five-game series looks like and tried to make the best decision po sible for the club.That’s worked out well.FOSTER: Bryce Harper’s blast may have changed Nats’ playoff fortunesThe teams split the games in D.C., which means that if he pitches well and the Nationals win Game 3, that guarantees that, at the very least, the series will head back to D.C. for Game 5.Scherzer’s just ready to get out Willie Mays Jersey there.I was chomping at the bit, knowing I was going to get my opportunity to get into the series, he said. Roller coaster two games there. You know, heck of a ballgame, Game 1, and the way we came back in Game 2; that was a crazy eighth inning for us. We got some good momentum on our side. Guys had a little bounce in their step today. So that’s what makes it great.