Stephen Strasburg will not be available for the Washington Nationals postseason run.
Manager Davey Johnson confirmed the young fireballer would remain on the bench during an appearance with the Sports Junkies Wednesday morning on 106.7 The Fan.
“If I have my say, ‘no,’ ” said Johnson. “He’s shutdown.”
The young at heart manager was quick to point out that Strasburg was benched one start early, but equally as quick to say that was not be a factor in the postseason decision.
Meanwhile, Johnson unequivocally stated the Nationals want the best record in baseball.
“You’re damn right we want it!” he said. “We deserve it. We’re going out there and putting our best foot forward.”
Johnson said it hasn’t been a challenge to keep the Nationals pumped up over the course of a 162-game season. The players largely keep themselves amped up.
“I’m not like football coaches when I need to pump up my players,” said Johnson. “Everybody needs to do their thing.”
The 25-man playoff roster must be set within 24 hours of their first postseason game, but Washington may not have the luxury of knowing their opponent until Friday’s game is concluded.
Johnson says there are one or two roster spots that may not be decided until their opponent is determined.
The skipper said he’d also prefer to have a day off and start their first series on Sunday.
“It’s easier travel… that would be better,” he said.
As for being one of the tops seeds and having to open their series on the road, Johnson was adamant that every team would like to open at home and didn’t agree with the playoff scheduling.
Davey Johnson Interview