Solid 'pen in G3 has Nats set up well for G4

Rodney, Ross, Suero combine for 3 2/3 scoreless innings

October 26th, 2019

WASHINGTON -- sees the silver lining here.

Of course, Doolittle wishes the Nationals had won Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night. There is no question about that. But , and pitched a combined 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief in a 4-1 loss to Houston. Their efforts kept the Nats’ bullpen locked and loaded for Games 4 and 5 this weekend.

“Their lineup is so good,” Doolittle said about the Astros. “Not only does it give [], me and Huddy [] another day of rest, but it also keeps them from seeing us another time. They’re so good, you’d really like to limit the number of times that you’re showing them some bullpen guys throughout the course of the series. And now, we’re rested for these next two games so we feel like we can go all-in -- maybe multiple innings, I don’t know how it’s going to shake [out]. But I feel like we’re in a good spot.

“If things go well for us the rest of the series, I think this could be one of the things you could point to, to say the way these guys stepped up. … It was awesome to see how they stepped up and handled the back half of the game.”

Rodney replaced with one out in the sixth, and Ross pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth inning. The Nationals left Ross off the roster for the first two rounds of the postseason, but they put him on the World Series roster. He had not pitched in a game since Sept. 29, but he threw simulated games to stay sharp.

“It felt good,” Ross said. “It was cool being able to pitch in the World Series for the first time.”

Suero, who pitched a scoreless ninth, had previously pitched one-third of an inning in Game 3 of the National League Division Series. He spent one game on the NL Championship Series roster before Hudson returned from the paternity list.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez hinted before the game that might have pitched Friday, if the game warranted it. He will start Game 5 on Sunday, so he will not pitch in relief Saturday. But because Rodney, Ross and Suero shouldered the load in Game 3, the Nats are better positioned without him.

“I’m really proud of the way the bullpen came out and pitched,” Martinez said.