2019 NLDS: Cody Bellinger Suggests Dodgers Forget Names Of Nationals’ Patrick Corbin, Stephen Strasburg & Max Scherzer
Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger during a press conference before a 2019 NLDS workout at Dodger Stadium
Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers finished atop the National League standings and set a franchise record with 106 wins, yet many pundits have predicted the Washington Nationals will emerge victorious from the NL Division Series.

That largely centers around the Nationals’ starting rotation that’s led by Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. “I mean, they’re strikeout pitchers. I think they led the league in strikeouts or something like that this year,” Cody Bellinger said.

“Obviously Scherzer’s been at the top of his game for a lot of years now and they added Corbin to an already good pitching staff so it’s going to be a really fun series and we’re prepared for it though and we’re looking forward to playing tomorrow and facing them.”

Scherzer and Strasburg both pitched in the NL Wild Card Game, which has Corbin starting against the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS for his postseason debut.

From 2012-17, Corbin went 3-9 with a 5.56 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) against the Dodgers. However, he’s 2-0 and allowed just two earned runs in 30.1 innings pitched (0.59 ERA) in his past five starts when facing L.A.

One of those games came this season, when the 30-year-old scattered three hits and offset four walks with eight strikeouts over seven shutout innings at Dodger Stadium back in May.

Unlike last October when Bellinger was platooned because of ongoing struggles against left-handed pitching, he along with the likes of Max Muncy and Corey Seager, will receive an opportunity to start regardless of the opponent’s starter.

While Corbin has largely stifled the Dodgers, Bellinger is among the few who’s had success off the southpaw. “Just try to treat him like a normal guy,” he said.

“I think if you forget about the name you’ll be all right. Like I said, just treat him like a normal pitcher and obviously he’s got good stuff, but go out there and compete the best you can and you got teammates to lean on. So I think that’s the most important thing.”

After slipping into a lull during the early stages of the second half, Bellinger rebounded and closed the regular season on a strong note. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts readily admitted the team needs Bellinger to revert back to his MVP form.

But more so in the sense of keeping with a disciplined approach and allowing that to lend to results rather than setting any sort of barometer for production.