By Lewis Gould
The Nats have gotten off to a shaky start in 2021.
They’re 7-9, but only a game-and-a-half behind the Mets in NL East.
However, Stephen Strasburg and Juan Soto are already in the infirmary.
The Nats have had their issues over the years — with defense, with the bullpen. But they’ve never had to fret too long about their bread and butter, on which they’ve spent a lot of bread and butter — their starting pitching. Even through the worst of their 19-31 start in 2019, their starters were, in the main, solid as ever. It’s been that way for so long, it’s hard to remember another reality. (John Lannan, Opening Day starter. It was a thing here.)
Max Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin are the reason there’s a World Series pennant at Nationals Park. Lots of people did wondrous things in that special season, and it took an organization full of grinders to keep coming back and never giving in during that memorable September and October. But those three were the difference, the steel in the team spine that was almost always dominant, whether starting or relieving one another, time and again. Each had magical postseason starts. Scherzer stopped St. Louis in its tracks in Game 2 of the NLCS; Corbin closed the sweep in Game 4. Strasburg, of course, was a horse in Game 6 of the Series, and ultimately, the Series MVP.