After making history, now pitching staff has to defy it

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — For 17 games stretched over 30 unforgettable days, a half-dozen Washington Nationals pitchers embraced the unsustainable, steered into the uncomfortable, and tapped into reserves they did not know they possessed, to deliver by any means necessary a World Series championship.

And then what?

“When we won, we were all ecstatic,” recalls left-hander Patrick Corbin, who pitched in eight of the Nationals’ playoff games, including three near-perfect relief innings against the Houston Astros to earn a win in Game 7 of the World Series. “But I think we were also relieved to say, ‘We’re done with this.’

“Our bodies, we were reaching our limits, going full bore for that whole month. Those are high-stress games and I think guys were like, ‘Hey, we’re done with this. We can relax and be done with this.’”

In claiming baseball’s ultimate prize, the Nationals will reap the rewards for a lifetime. Corbin says only half-kiddingly that the October adrenaline still hasn’t worn off, and that “You have a thought, every day, about what we did, and just how awesome that was.”

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