World Series: Is this Nationals bullpen suddenly good?

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WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 25: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Washington Nationals comes out of the bullpen against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning in Game Three of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 25: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Washington Nationals comes out of the bullpen against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning in Game Three of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – MAY 26: Pitchers stretch in the Washington Nationals bullpen during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 26, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – MAY 26: Pitchers stretch in the Washington Nationals bullpen during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 26, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The only thing holding back the Washington Nationals all season has been the bullpen, but suddenly they look pretty good.

Don’t get me wrong, the Washington Nationals bullpen is still its weakest area, but they are starting to look formidable in the World Series.

Coming into the World Series the Nationals bullpen had an ERA of 4.76, which ranked as one of the worst among postseason teams.

But when you compare that to their league-leading worst 5.66 bullpen ERA from the regular season, they’ve actually been decent.

Of course, some of that has to do with the fact that Dave Martinez has used some of his starters out of the bullpen.

Here are the bullpen numbers for Nationals starters:

Stephen Strasburg – 3 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 4 K

Max Scherzer – 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 3 K

Patrick Corbin – 3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 ER, 7 K

Combined, that’s 6 earned runs (all in one outing from Corbin) over 7.1 innings on 7 hits, 2 walks, and 14 strikeouts.

That’s a combined ERA of 7.10, but if you take out that terrible relief appearance from Corbin, they’ve been lights out.

Here are the numbers from the rest of the bullpen (only those on active World Series roster):

Sean Doolittle – 8.2 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 2 ER, 7 K

Daniel Hudson – 7 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 1 ER, 6 K

Tanner Rainey – 5.1 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 ER, 6 K

Fernando Rodney – 4.1 IP, 2 H, 6 BB, 0 ER, 5 K

Joe Ross – 2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, 0 K

Javy Guerra – 1 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 ER, 0 K

Wander Suero – 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 1 ER, 1 K

That group has combined for a 2.46 ERA this postseason allowing 8 earned runs in 29.1 innings pitched. They have a combined WHIP of 1.126, but that’s a little inflated because of the 6 walks issued by Rodney.

And while their K/9 is well under 9, that’s because the bottom three have just 1 strikeout. The top four relievers (Doolittle, Hudson, Rainey, and Rodney) have 24 strikeouts in 25.1 innings.

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