It’s Stephen Strasburg’s turn. Aníbal Sánchez and Max Scherzer did all they could in Games 1-2 of the NLCS, and now the Nationals turn to their 2009 No. 1 overall pick with a 2-0 edge in the best-of-seven-game series with the Cardinals. Will Strasburg step up too? This is how the Nats built the team, with starting pitching the focus, but Davey Martinez said in his call with reporters on Sunday afternoon that the bullpen will be ready if they’re needed.
“Fortunately, we’re built -- this team’s built around our starting pitching, and they’ve been pitching really well,” Martinez explained. “I’m hoping that this continues... but there might become a moment where somebody goes five or six innings and we have to do something else. When that happens, we’ll have the matchups ready for the in-game decisions.”
What will Strasburg give the Nationals tonight, in the first NLCS game in Nationals Park? Go read your links while you wait to find out...
NLCS Game 3:
Dave Martinez and the win-from-behind edge - (Washington Times)
"We've heard from Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez for weeks that since May 24, his team has been essentially playing a wild card game every day to climb back into contention."
3 keys for the Nats to seal NLCS victory at home - (MLB.com)
"Only two victories stand between the Nationals and their first World Series appearance in franchise history, as well as the first Fall Classic berth for a Washington-based club since the Senators in 1933."
Finally, my wisdom is acknowledged. Though the true opposite would have been, " hmm, they expect me to try for a hit. I'm gonna step onto the plate and let it bean me in the nuts." Now that's opposite think. https://t.co/43QBv7kkBZ— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) October 13, 2019
Veteran Zim proving he has plenty left in tank - (MLB.com)
"During the most difficult days of rehab, or the 13 games he had to play in the Minors in August, Zimmerman would have found it difficult to dream of a better outcome than this."
7 years later, Stras draws Cards in October - (MLB.com)
"Facing the Cardinals in October for the first time since 2012, the Nats turn this series over to Strasburg after watching Aníbal Sánchez and Max Scherzer combine to allow two hits over 14 2/3 shutout innings at Busch Stadium."
The Nationals’ rotation encountered a knife fight and brought a bazooka. Or four - (WaPost)
"Through the first eight games of these playoffs, six of them wins, Washington’s starting pitchers are allowing a .150 batting average."
MAT and Victor:
Michael A. Taylor has been much more than a stopgap for the Nationals - (WaPost)
"The 28-year-old's season seemed lost in early July, when he was back in the minor leagues, but he has contributed in ways big and small during this playoff run."
Martinez cautious with Robles, defines Elías' role next two games - (MASN)
"Nationals manager Davey Martinez had an update on center fielder Victor Robles as he continues recovery from a tweaked right hamstring suffered in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Dodgers."
Nationals CF Victor Robles closing in on a return to the lineup - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Michael A. Taylor replaced Robles in center field. He hit an important solo home run Saturday and is hitting .300 in the postseason."
Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson have thrown their egos (and gloves) aside to help the team.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 13, 2019
And now we’re in the NLCS for the first time in our team’s history.#STAYINTHEFIGHT pic.twitter.com/OaLJkddgVL
Inside the wildest 48 hours of Washington Nationals pitcher Daniel Hudson's life - (ESPN)
"'The Nationals do not have their closer, Daniel Hudson,' the play-by-play announcer says in the game's middle innings. 'Wait!' Sara says, tilting her head to look over at him. 'You're not there?'"
The Nats Haven’t Forgotten Bryce Harper—but They Don’t Miss Him - (The Ringer)
"As his former squad heads back to D.C. for Game 3 of the Nats’ first visit to the NLCS with a 2-0 series lead over the Cardinals, it’s time for us to take a good, long look at Hurricane Harper."
MLB Playoffs Daily -- Cardinals' bats need to wake up against Nationals - (ESPN)
"Teams that win the first two of a best-of-seven series on the road have advanced 22 of the past 25 times."
Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter are interviewing with Phillies. Appears they will go with a veteran manager. Girardi and Scioscia among other potential candidates. @MDGonzales 1st with Dusty @JSalisburyNBCS with Buck— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) October 13, 2019
Phillies manager search: Sources say Dusty Baker and Buck Showalter to interview this week - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Dusty Baker is scheduled to interview with the Phillies on Wednesday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, after receiving permission from the San Francisco Giants."