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Sunday, October 06, 2019

Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in tow, the Nationals’ bullpen defies its reputation

LOS ANGELES — This bullpen, man. This damned bullpen in Washington D.C. is some collection of survivors and has-beens and can-bes and scar tissue and facial hair and thunderclap contact and breathtaking falls and Darwinian endurance and on two nights this week alone Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer, all stuck together with something that might be ear wax.

This bullpen is so gloriously self-aware, so defiantly willing, so exhausting, it really is a wonder, like a mutt with one eye sewn shut and both hips going and such bad breath, that’s been around so long you could hardly consider life without her.

And, yes, that’s right, three days after Strasburg followed Scherzer when the Nationals beat the Milwaukee Brewers to escape the wild-card round, Scherzer followed Strasburg when the Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-2, on Friday night here to tie this National League Division Series at a game apiece, because at the end it can be ugly, it can be something slightly less than ugly, but it’s always something.

Two wins into a postseason that will require 12 of them, Strasburg and Scherzer have combined to get 45 of the 54 outs in those wins. That’s maybe not sustainable. It may also be their chance. And as long as the co-aces are game, and as long as the off days keep coming on schedule, and as long as the survivors and scar-tissued among them can be leveraged prudently, then keep ‘em coming. Game 3 is Sunday in D.C.

Does this mean that keeping your starters in the game as long as possible is the new market inefficiency?

 

QLE Posted: October 06, 2019 at 12:20 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bullpens, max scherzer, nationals, playoffs, stephen strasburg

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   1. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 06, 2019 at 11:29 PM (#5887240)
Does this mean that keeping your starters in the game as long as possible is the new market inefficiency?


Now that starter ERA is lower than reliever ERA on a league wide basis, maybe. I wonder if 2019 is the beginning of a new era in that regard or just a big outlier.

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