WASHINGTON — The Stephen Strasburg will-he-won’t-he start saga was about as strange as you could imagine.
Once Game 4 got delayed from Tuesday to Wednesday, it was assumed Strasburg would take over starting duties from Tanner Roark.
But the Nationals announced Roark would get the start after all, much to everybody’s surprise. The decision was due to an illness Strasburg was facing, allegedly due to “mold” but also possibly due to a case of the flu.
GM Mike Rizzo, in his weekly appearance Wednesday morning with The Sports Junkies, passionately defended the decision, but just hours later, reports emerged that Strasburg might get the start after all.
Shortly thereafter, the Nationals confirmed that Strasburg would, after all, get the start.
Strasburg did, of course, take the mound when Game 4 finally started, but that didn’t stop the critics around Chicago, who leapt at the opportunity to mock the Nationals star for his battle with mold.
It’s hard to blame them for mocking the mold excuse — come on. Mold? — but this is a pretty sad showing. That said, the Nationals couldn’t have handled this whole situation much worse, and it brought back memories of the old Bud Black dilemma.
So how did Strasburg respond? How about seven shutout innings with 12 strikeouts and just three hits and two walks? Is that good? Yeah, that’s pretty good.