|5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, October 15, 2019
Nationals Park, Washington, District of Columbia Attendance: 43,976
Corbin, Nationals shoot for NLCS sweep of Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals
- The Nationals took a 3-0 series lead with an 8-1 win over the Cardinals on Monday. Teams leading 3-0 in the postseason have gone on to win that series 36 of 37 times, with the only exception famously coming in the 2004 ALCS (Red Sox over Yankees). Washington is the first NL team all-time to allow one run or fewer in each of the first three games of a single postseason series.
- After Stephen Strasburg's outing (7 IP, 0 ER), the Nationals' starters have now gone 25.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. That's the second-longest streak ever by an NL team in a single postseason - the Giants' starters didn't allow an earned run over the entire 1905 World Series (44.0 IP). Strasburg lowered his career postseason ERA to 1.10 in the win, the second lowest all-time through seven career postseason appearances (min. 35 IP) -- Sandy Koufax (0.88).
- So far in the NLCS, the Nationals have held the Cardinals to an 0-for-36 line when batting left-handed. The only team with a worse start to a playoff series from either side was the 1944 Browns, who began the World Series 0-for-41 as right-handed batters against the Cardinals.
- Patrick Corbin has made one start (Game 1 of NLDS) and three relief appearances this postseason, pitching to a 7.56 ERA across 8.1 innings. Corbin has either struck out or walked 51.2 percent (21/41) of the batters he has faced this postseason. Washington's pitching staff has struck out 109 batters this postseason, the second most through nine games in a single postseason all-time (2013 Tigers -- 110).
- Dakota Hudson allowed four runs (one earned) across 4.2 innings in Game 4 of the NLDS, a 5-4 Cardinals win. That start also came when St. Louis was facing elimination; Hudson will join Michael Wacha, StL (2013), Jaret Wright, Cle (1997) and Fernando Valenzuela, LA (1981) as the only rookies all-time to make two starts when facing elimination in the same postseason.
- Howie Kendrick went 3-for-4 with three doubles and three RBI in Washington's Game 3 win. At 36 years and 94 days, Kendrick became the fourth-oldest player in postseason history with three extra-base hits in a single game: Craig Biggio (39-298), Willie Stargell (39-225) and Larry Walker (37-327) were older.
- On May 23, the Nationals were sitting at a season-worst 12 games under .500 at 19-31. Only three teams all-time have advanced to the World Series after being at least 12 games under .500 in the regular season: 1914 Boston Braves (won WS), 2005 Houston Astros (lost WS) and 1973 Mets (lost WS).
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- Brewers replace Grandal with M's Narvaez
- Mets acquire OF Marisnick from Astros
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- Royals' Matheny keeping most of staff
In a season of record offense around the major leagues, the Washington Nationals have ridden their starting pitching to the cusp of the franchise's first World Series berth.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin is next in line for the Nationals, who could complete a National League Championship Series sweep of the Cardinals with a Game 4 victory Tuesday in Washington. Rookie right-hander Dakota Hudson will start for St. Louis.
Corbin has a challenge ahead if he wants to keep pace with the Nationals starters who went before him as the team built a 3-0 lead in the NLCS. Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg pitched a combined 21 2/3 innings without giving up an earned run.
"They are feeding off each other, they really are, and it's fun to watch," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "They sit there and watch and talk and communicate. They get together and go over what they did to make them successful that day. ... Then they go out and compete (with each other) every day. It's a lot of fun."
Corbin has made four appearances in the postseason so far, but just one was a start. All 33 of his regular-season appearances came as part of the rotation, and he went 14-7 with a 3.25 ERA.
Corbin was the losing pitcher in Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers despite pitching well (two runs, one earned, with nine strikeouts in six inning). He then was roughed up by the Dodgers in Game 3 when he gave up six runs in two-thirds of an inning in relief, absorbing another defeat.
However, Corbin has rebounded with 1 2/3 scoreless innings in two outings since, including retiring the only batter he faced in the ninth inning of Game 2 in the NLCS.
"I think what's good is we all try to help each other," Corbin said of the Washington staff. "When someone's out there pitching, we're all on the bench talking, going over the other team's lineup, maybe what they see, what they don't see. That's what's been so great, being able to discuss what we think, what we don't think."
Corbin was 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA against the Cardinals this year in his first season with the Nationals. In seven career starts against St. Louis, he is 2-2 with a 4.17 ERA. The Cardinals' Dexter Fowler has the most success against him, going 6-for-19 (.316) with a double, triple and three RBIs.
The Cardinals will try to extend their season behind Hudson, who went 16-7 with a 3.35 ERA during his first year as a major league starter.
In his only two starts against the Nationals, both earlier this year, he was 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA. The victory came Sept. 15 at home when he gave up two runs on five hits over seven innings.
The Cardinals need more than just a solid outing from Hudson. The offense has just 11 hits in the first three games, tied for second lowest in the first three games of a postseason series in major league history and the lowest total ever in a league championship series.
"No concession speech ... has been written," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. "This is a team that can absolutely win four games in a row, and clearly we have to start (Tuesday). We have to get after it, which we will and which we have. We are in a tough spot, but there is precedent for it."
The only team to win a baseball postseason series after losing the first three games was the 2004 Boston Red Sox, who rallied to defeat the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, and they eventually won the World Series.
--Field Level Media
Updated October 15, 2019