Corbin to get ball in Game 4 for Nationals in DC

October 25th, 2019

WASHINGTON -- will start Game 4 of the World Series for the Nationals, manager Dave Martinez announced Thursday evening. Martinez had been hesitant to name Corbin as the team’s fourth starter, wanting to keep his options open out of the bullpen, but with his club returning home with a 2-0 series lead over the Astros, Martinez was ready to slot Corbin back into the rotation.

It will be Corbin’s first start since Oct. 15, when the Nationals clinched Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals, and just his second of the postseason. To cover for the Nats’ leaky bullpen, Corbin has been used primarily as a reliever this month, including an appearance in Game 1 of the World Series, when he tossed a scoreless sixth inning with a pair of strikeouts to help the Nats to a 5-4 victory.

Aside from a rocky relief outing in Game 3 of the NL Division Series -- when he was charged with six earned runs in 2/3 of an inning -- Corbin has been solid overall, giving up five earned runs in his other 13 2/3 innings (3.29 ERA). He owns a 28/10 strikeout to walk ratio this postseason. The Astros will offer a stiff test, considering they were baseball’s best offense against left-handed pitching during the regular season, posting a 131 wRC+, which led the Majors.

The Nationals had the luxury of pushing Corbin’s start back to Game 4 after that 21-pitch relief outing because of their lead in the series, and also thanks to veteran right-hander , whose two postseason starts were just as impressive as any of his rotation mates’ outings.

“It's been huge,” Martinez said. “Everybody talks about our big three, but Aníbal has pitched unbelievable since he came off the IL all year long. He gives us a chance to win ball games every outing.”

Three Nationals named Gold Glove finalists

The Nationals had three players -- third baseman , center fielder and left fielder -- named as Gold Glove Award finalists on Thursday.

Rendon is a finalist for the fourth consecutive season and will once again aim to top Colorado’s Nolan Arenado, who has won the award in each of his six big league seasons. Robles is a finalist in his rookie year after leading center fielders in baseball with 22 defensive runs saved and all outfielders with 21 outs above average, as measured by Statcast. And Soto made major improvements in the field defensively in his first full season in the big leagues, with six OAA compared to -6 in his rookie season.

“I truly believe they should win it,” Martinez said. “I looked at the numbers, and I know Soto has played a lot better out there. When I looked at his numbers, I thought, man, he has a really legitimate chance to win.

“Kudos to them. Those two guys work unbelievably hard every day out there. And [third base coach] Bob Henley deserves a lot of credit for going out there and taking them out every day and making sure they get their work in.”