After some uncertainty going into Game 3, Nationals manager Dave Martinez announced Aníbal Sánchez would get the nod on Sunday.
Max Scherzer was the original candidate to get the start, but after pitching an inning on Friday night, the plan changed. Though the Nationals’ starting rotation is known for their “Big Three” — Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin — Martinez has faith that Sánchez can get the job done against the Dodgers.
“[Sánchez], you could mention [him] as being one of the big four, because he was really good this year for us, really good, especially down the stretch. I’m excited, he’s excited, hopefully he goes out there and pitches like he’s been pitching and he gives us a strong outing.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts — to no surprise — filled the starting lineup full of left-handed batters in response to the newly named right-handed pitcher. Here is what the lineups look on both sides.
NLDS Game 3 Lineups
|Muncy (L)||1B||Eaton (L)||RF|
|Bellinger (L)||CF||Soto (L)||LF|
There are lots of similarities from this lineup compared to Friday’s lineup, with the exception of a few things.
First, Russell Martin will be the backstop to pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, since the pair experiences much success. In 20 games with Martin catching Ryu, the Korean Monster has a 1.52 ERA and holds batters to a .215 average. Ryu said Martin’s incredibly successful career has much to do with their chemistry.
“He’s been an incredible help in terms of communicating and being on the same page,” Ryu said. “Even from day one, as a veteran he made sure that we were on the same page and from the get-go we had a great start to the season, hence the good results throughout the season.”
In addition to a new catcher in the lineup, Roberts made a few adjustments to the batting order. He made a bold move in Game 2 by putting Max Muncy and Corey Seager later in the lineup and having A.J. Pollock bat in the No. 3 spot. Doc is reverting back to what’s considered normal by having Muncy and Seager in the No. 2 and 5 spots respectively and moving Pollock down to the No. 6 spot.
Heading into Game 3, Roberts was sure the team would perform better than they did on Friday.
“We’ll be ready and I’ll be certain we won’t punch 17 times.”
NLDS Game 3 will be broadcast on TBS and first pitch is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. PT.