Samson: Nationals Can Beat Dodgers In NLDS

David Samson explains why he isn't handing the pennant to the Dodgers just yet

Taz and the Moose
October 02, 2019 - 9:55 am
NL Wild Card

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The rested Los Angeles Dodgers won a franchise-record 106 games this season, while the Washington Nationals burned their two best pitchers in a comeback win over the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card on Tuesday. As a result, you might expect the Dodgers to waltz into the NLCS.

Well, not quite.

“They did what they were supposed to do,” former MLB executive and current analyst David Samson said of the Nationals on Taz & The Moose. “They used Scherzer and Strasburg, which is their starting depth, which is what they have because they don’t have great bullpen depth. Now they still have a No. 1 starter ready to go in Patrick Corbin.”

Corbin, who went 14-7 with a 3.25 ERA and 238 strikeouts this season, will start Game 1 of the NLDS in Los Angeles on Thursday.

“The way the series rounds out, they will get to – in a five-game series – pitch Corbin, Strasburg and Scherzer, just not in the order that they would have wanted to,” Samson said. “But in a one-game playoff, you’ve got to use your best pitchers. That’s why the signing of Corbin last offseason was so important for the Nationals and was better than them retaining Bryce Harper – because look where the Nats are and look where the Phillies are.”

The Phillies missed the playoffs for the eighth straight year, while the Nationals made it for the fifth time in eight seasons.

“That team could beat the Dodgers,” Samson said. “They’ve got the pitching and the lineup to do it. To me, the Braves and Nationals both could beat the Dodgers, so I’m not handing the pennant over to L.A. too quickly.”

The Brewers, meanwhile, are left wondering what could have been. They led the Nationals 3-1 in the eighth, but Josh Hader couldn’t make it stick. Trent Grisham’s error in right field made the inning go from bad to worse.

“That’s an error of a young player, a rookie, trying to do too much,” Samson said. “He could have just gotten the ball in, go to extra innings and maybe we’re playing until 2 or 3 in the morning. But he was trying to throw out the tying run and ends up giving up the winning run.” 

Click below to listen to Samson’s interview in its entirety.