It worked with Stephen Strasburg in the Wild Card Game. And it worked with Max Scherzer in relief in Game 2 of the NLDS. Davey Martinez went to the starter-as-reliever well one too many times, however, as Patrick Corbin came on with a 2-1 lead and imploded in the top of the sixth inning. Corbin gave up leadoff and two-out singles and two, two-run doubles, and he was eventually charged with a total of six runs in a seven-run inning for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who took a 2-1 lead over the Washington Nationals in the series with a 10-4 win in the nation’s capital.
Sánchez vs the Dodgers: Aníbal Sánchez’s first start against the Dodgers this season came back on May 10th, when he was still dealing with a hamstring injury which hampered him a bit as he got off to an (0-6, 5.21 ERA in 41 IP) start in his first season in D.C. after signing a 2-year/$19M contract with the Nationals this winter.
The second time out he was in the midst of what ended up being a 16-start unbeaten streak (over which he was 8-0 with a 3.21 ERA in 92 2⁄3 IP).
Sánchez gave up six hits, two walks, and three earned runs in 4 1⁄3 IP in which he threw 89 pitches the first time out against the Dodgers, in LA in May, then in late July in the nation’s capital he gave up three hits, a walk, and one run in a seven-inning, 89-pitch start in which he retired the last 20 batters he faced after giving up three singles and a walk in the first.
Tonight in Nationals Park, Sánchez gave up a leadoff walk, one-out single, and two-out free pass, loading the bases with Dodgers before he got out No. 3 in a 28-pitch first, and he got a 2-0 lead to work with in the bottom of the inning, courtesy of a two-run home run by Juan Soto.
Sánchez struck out the side in a 15-pitch second, and was up to 57 total after stranding a two-out double in the third. He picked up two more Ks (for 8 total from 17 batters) in a 14-pitch fourth that left him at 71 pitches.
With two out in the fifth, Max Muncy fell behind 0-2, but got hold of a fastball and hit it out to right, over the out-of-town scoreboard to get the Dodgers on the board, down 2-1, but a groundout to third by Justin Turner ended the inning.
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 Ks, 1 HR, 87 P 52 S, 2/3 GO/FO.
Ryu vs the Nationals: Hyun-Jin Ryu, 32, took a no-hit bid into the eighth when he faced the Nationals in LA in May, and he gave up a run on eight hits in 6 2⁄3 IP in July in D.C., earning his second win of the season in two starts against Washington, in which he had a 0.61 ERA, two walks, 13 Ks, and a .173/.204/.212 line against in 14 2⁄3 IP.
“He’s been healthy,” Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts said, “... just making pitches, really consistent all year, our most consistent pitcher obviously all season long.”
After the Dodgers left’em loaded in the top of the first tonight, Ryu walked Adam Eaton with one out in the bottom of the inning, and gave up a two-run shot to center with two down on a 1-1 fastball to Juan Soto that went over the center field fence to give the Nationals an early 2-0 lead.
Ryu held it there through four, and came out for the fifth in a 2-1 game after Max Muncy hit a solo shot to right in the top of the inning, and stranded two batters in a scoreless frame that ended his outing.
Hyun-Jin Ryu’s Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 74 P, 48 S, 6/4 GO/FO.
Turn, Turn, Turner: Trea Turner finished the regular season with a 12-game hit streak going, and he extended it with hits in all three postseason games so far, going 23 for 67 over that stretch (.343 AVG), with eight doubles, six home runs, 11 RBIs, two walks, three steals, and 15 runs scored.
He was hitless the first two times up against Hyun-Jin Ryu, and he got a two-out intentional walk in his third trip to the plate after Ryu fell behind, 3-0.
BULLPEN ACTION: Davey Martinez was asked before tonight’s game if he told lefty Patrick Corbin to hold off on his between-starts bullpen session in case they needed him to throw some in relief.
“Yeah, I’ve asked a lot of guys to hold off on their bullpens,” Martinez joked.
“You know, the beautiful thing about our guys is that they’re all in, they really are. It’s never a twist-your-arm conversation. These guys, they want to play and they’re ready to do anything to win.”
Sure enough, after five strong from starter Aníbal Sánchez, Martinez turned to Corbin in the top of the sixth inning, but the left-hander, in his first relief appearance since 2017, gave up leadoff and two-out singles that put runners on the corners in front of Russell Martin, who got to a 2-2 count, and hit a double to left-center to drive in two runs and put the Dodgers on top, 3-2 LA.
A walk to Chris Taylor put another runner on with two down, in front of pinch hitter Kiké Hernández, who lined a 1-2 slider to left for a two-run RBI double, 5-2.
Corbin put Max Muncy on with an intentional walk, and the Nats went to the pen again for Wander Suero at that point, and Suero promptly gave up a three-run bomb to left by Justin Turner, 8-2.
Joe Kelly came on for LA with a six-run lead, and gave up back-to-back walks (to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto) and a base-loading single (by Howie Kendrick), before throwing a wild pitch to Yan Gomes that let a run in, 8-3. Gomes walked too, and that was it for Kelly.
Asdrúbal Cabrera came on to hit for Brian Dozier, so the Dodgers went to the pen for Julio Urías, who gave up a fly to right that was deep enough to bring in a run, 8-4, but Howie Kendrick stopped at second, then tried to advance to third on the throw home, which was cut off, leaving him dead to rights between the bases, gifting LA the first two outs of the inning, which ended when Michael A. Taylor popped out.
Fernando Rodney gave up a one-out double and walk, and a two-out free pass that loaded the bases, then went to a full count with Max Muncy, then got out No. 3 on a fly to center, still 8-4 LA.
Adam Eaton singled off Urías with two out in the seventh, but was stranded at first base.
Tanner Rainey worked around a two-out single in a scoreless top of the eighth.
Adam Kolarek retired Juan Soto for the third time in three matchups in the NLDS.
Kenta Maeda took over for LA with one out in the Nationals’ eighth, and Maeda got two outs to keep it 8-4 LA.
Hunter Strickland got the ball in the top of the ninth and gave up a leadoff single by David Freese, and a two-run home run by Russell Martin, 10-4 LA.
Kenley Jansen got the ninth, with a six-run lead, and retired the side in order to end it...
Final Score: 10-4 Dodgers.
Nationals trail 2-1 in NLDS