WASHINGTON — Nationals manager Dusty Baker says it would be a “miracle” if Stephen Stasburg were available to pitch in the National League Championship Series, should Washington beat the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday.
“I hadn’t really thought about it,” Baker said Thursday of Strasburg’s potential NLCS availability. Strasburg’s bullpen session was cut short earlier in the week after the pitcher felt a little “discomfort.” He’s been recovering from a strained flexor mass in his pitching elbow since September.
“We know he’s not gonna be ready for the next series,” Baker said. “He’s progressing as well as we like. Never as fast as you like. But, again, he won’t be available for the next series. It would be a miracle if he was.”
Before the postseason began, the Nationals remained optimistic Strasburg might be available for a late postseason run, but General Manager Mike Rizzo was insistent they wouldn’t risk his health to pitch him in the playoffs.
“If he’s ready to pitch and he’s capable of pitching, we will certainly run him out there in the playoffs,” Rizzo told 106.7 The Fan on Sept. 28.
With Strasburg likely out for a potential NLCS berth, that would leave open only the possibility of him pitching in the World Series. Otherwise, it’s see ‘ya next year.