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Los Viejos _ The Old Guys _ help Nationals make World Series


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Los Viejos _ The Old Guys _ help Nationals make World Series

WASHINGTON (AP) – NL MVP candidate Anthony Rendon surveyed his teammates scattered across the Nationals Park diamond, whoopin’ it up after clinching a World Series berth.

There have been beginning pitchers Max Scherzer and Aníbal Sánchez, every 35 – and every accountable for taking a no-hit bid into a minimum of the seventh inning as Washington received Games 1 and a couple of of the NL Championship Series. So was Howie Kendrick, 36, the second baseman who earned NLCS MVP honors with 4 doubles and 4 RBIs within the sweep. And Ryan Zimmerman, 35, the primary baseman slugging .484 this postseason.

“A lot of old guys on the team,” Rendon noticed. “They call themselves ‘Viejos.’”

Indeed, they do, and “Los Viejos” – Spanish for “The Old Guys” – are a giant a part of why the Nationals are on the brink of face the Astros within the Fall Classic, which opens Tuesday night time in Houston.

There’s additionally catcher Kurt Suzuki, 36, and reliever Fernando Rodney, 42, the oldest lively participant within the majors.



“People think we are old men and we can’t do things,” stated Rodney, who credited Suzuki with originating the nickname. “So we say, ‘Vamos, Viejos! You can do it!’”

They helped make Washington the oldest membership in baseball in 2019, with a mean age of a tad underneath 31.

The Astros aren’t precisely spring chickens, both: With a mean age of simply above 30, they ranked third oldest out of the game’s 30 golf equipment. Just just like the Nationals, their roster features a half-dozen gamers who’re a minimum of 35, together with rotation stalwarts Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke.

“Older players sometimes get devalued a little bit, just because of the age,” Suzuki stated. “You can call us old, but that’s fine. We don’t care. We feel like we can still contribute and we can still play at a high level. And I think that’s the only thing that matters.”

Scherzer, for instance, is a three-time Cy Young Award winner who adopted up yet one more stellar common season by compiling a 1.80 ERA in 4 appearances within the playoffs; Washington went 4-Zero in these video games.

Sánchez has made two begins this postseason with a 0.71 ERA.

Like Scherzer and Sánchez , Rodney is certainly one of a half-dozen members of the Nationals to have already got appeared in a World Series (just one, little-used reliever Hunter Strickland, has received a title).

Rodney’s been a key a part of the late-season rebirth of the workforce’s bullpen: He’s allowed two hits and 0 runs in 2 2/three innings within the playoffs.

“I look at them, and they’re not old to me,” 55-year-old supervisor Dave Martinez stated. “They’re playing like I’ve seen them play when they were 27, 28.”

Sure, the Nationals do have a few children taking part in key roles in beginning outfielders Juan Soto, 20, and Victor Robles, 22. But there’s not a lot else at that finish of the spectrum, which is why when second baseman Brian Dozier, who’s 32, was requested what recommendation he’s giving the youthful guys, he chuckled and responded: “Younger guys? You mean the two that’s in here?”

Dozier thinks it’s necessary to have a variety of veterans right now of yr – gamers who’ve been round are used to coping with distractions akin to an elevated media presence and have a greater grasp of , as he put it, “slow the game down a lot more” when the strain will increase.

“The chemistry and the experience that veteran guys bring, you can’t put that into an algorithm. You can’t put a money value on it. So people don’t like it. But there’s definitely a place for those guys,” Zimmerman stated. “You can’t have a team filled with old guys, either. Nobody’s saying that. I’m just saying that there are spots on every team for veteran guys who have been there and done that and have experience and can teach the young, talented guys that are basically going to carry the game on to the next generation how to respect the game, how to play the game the right way.”

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo likes the best way the older gamers mentor the youthful ones.

He additionally likes the manufacturing “Los Viejos” present.

“We knew we were the oldest team in the league, and everybody said that’s a negative. We just tried to flip that and made it a positive, because we know how good … we can still play. All of us, even the old guys,” Scherzer stated. “For me, I don’t even feel old. I feel young. I feel great and know that I can go out there and do everything I could do back when I was 25 years old.”

___

AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum and AP Sports Writer Stephen Whyno contributed.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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