Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin came up big Tuesday in his World Series debut, stepping in for ace Max Scherzer to throw a scoreless sixth inning in Washington’s 5-4 Game 1 win over the Houston Astros.
But Corbin’s relief appearance might have pushed back his next start.
Corbin told reporters he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to start Friday when the series shifts back to the District. The Nationals had not announced Corbin as their Game 3 starter, but it was widely assumed the 30-year-old would get the nod.
Against Houston, Corbin threw 21 pitches.
The Nationals have used their starters throughout the postseason as relievers when needed. Entering Tuesday, manager Dave Martinez kept open the possibility that Corbin could make an appearance in the first two games out of the bullpen.
Washington went to Corbin against the Astros as Scherzer threw 114 pitches through the first five innings. Martinez preferred using the left-hander for one inning over his relievers.
“As the game was rolling along and I started watching Max’s pitch count, I knew that there was going to become an inning that we need to use Corbin,” Martinez said. “And now all I wanted to do was pitch him an inning.”
Appearing on the 106.7 The Fan on Wednesday, general manager Mike Rizzo said Corbin’s usage does not rule the pitcher out from starting Game 3.
Rizzo said Corbin pitching last night doesn’t rule him out for Game 3. I still think that’s who they go with Friday night.— Eric Bickel (@EBJunkies) October 23, 2019
If Corbin can’t go, starter Aníbal Sánchez would likely get the nod.