At a time of desperation, the Washington Nationals turned to two of the best pitchers in baseball, and they delivered with stunning performances.
Fourteen innings pitched, eight hits allowed, one earned run, five walks, 18 strikeouts, two wins and one sturdy set of nasal bones.
After two consecutive days with three-hour rain delays turning into postponements, Corbin had to wait a while before facing the Phillies. Meanwhile, Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, throwing his status into limbo.
Neither wait nor wound could bother either ace. And when it comes to those guys, it should not be a surprise.
For years, the Nationals have relied on their starting pitchers to carry the team. Even with offensive juggernauts like Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, and Daniel Murphy making noise in the batter’s box, the foundation of the Nats has always been on the mound.
The Nats have never been shy about paying their starters top dollars. Scherzer, Corbin, and Stephen Strasburg signed long-term deals with the club totaling over half of a billion dollars.
With that kind of investment placed on three arms, these types of performances are what the Nats expect.
Corbin and Scherzer put the team on their backs and pitched their way to two vital division wins on Wednesday.
Scherzer topped the 100-inning mark for the season and lowered his ERA to 2.62 and his FIP to 2.19. Corbin bounced back from three straight bad starts and flashed the upside Nats fans know he has.
The Nats gained two games on the second-place Phillies in the span of ten hours. With this series morphed into a three-gamer, the Nats have the series win locked up and will go for the sweep tonight.
Strasburg will get his chance to shine on Friday at the start of a three-game set with the division-leading Atlanta Braves.