The Washington Nationals were six outs away from suffering yet another loss in an elimination game at home, but rallied in the eighth inning for a 4-3 comeback win against the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Wild Card Game.
In discussing the emotional victory, Nationals manager Dave Martinez faced a question about what lied ahead — a matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series. Max Scherzer went five innings against the Brewers, and Stephen Strasburg pitched three out of the bullpen.
“We thought about it, but the thing is to try to get Stras through the later innings, as well. Scherzer settled down after the first two innings. He was dynamite,” Martinez said. “We rode him as long as we could. We knew we had to pinch-hit for him.
“What can you say about Stras? He comes in out of the bullpen and shuts them down, gives us a chance to get back in the game. You guys seen the rest. The eighth inning we scored some runs, Huddy comes in and closes the 9th.”
Needing to rely on his two frontline starters to win the Wild Card, Martinez confirmed the obvious with Patrick Corbin. “I will tell you Patrick Corbin will start Game 1,” he said.
The start on Friday at Dodger Stadium will mark Corbin’s postseason debut. The Arizona Diamondbacks made the postseason just once during his career with them — defeating the Colorado Rockies in the Wild Card Game before being swept by the Dodgers in the 2017 NLDS.
Corbin potentially would have started — or at least appeared in — a Game 4 had the Diamondbacks not been dispatched with relative ease.
From 2012-17, Corbin went just 3-9 with a 5.56 ERA over 16 games (14 starts) against the Dodgers. However, he’s 2-0 and allowed just two earned runs in 30.1 innings pitched (0.59 ERA) in his past five starts when facing the Dodgers.
One of those outings came this season, when the 30-year-old scattered three hits and offset four walks with eight strikeouts over seven shutout innings at Dodger Stadium back in May.
L.A. has not yet announced their NLDS rotation outside of naming Rich Hill their starter in a potential Game 4.
Complete 2019 NLDS schedule with available start times and TV information
Game 1: Thursday, Oct. 3, Dodger Stadium, 5:37 p.m. PT (TBS)
Game 2: Friday, Oct. 4, Dodger Stadium, 6:37 p.m. PT (TBS)
Game 3: Sunday, Oct. 6, Nationals Park (TBS)
Game 4*: Monday, Oct. 7, Nationals Park (TBS)
Game 5*: Wednesday, Oct. 9, Dodger Stadium (TBS)