Stephen Strasburg will start Game 4 of Washington’s National League Division Series against the Cubs.
After Game 4, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed to Wednesday afternoon, Nationals manager Dusty Baker told reporters he would be sticking with Tanner Roark as his Game 4 starter.
Strasburg last pitched five days ago — in a 3-0 Game 1 loss — but felt “under the weather” on Tuesday, Baker said. The Nats skipper cited a high mold count in Chicago as a key factor.
Wednesday morning, Nats GM Mike Rizzo vehemently defended the decision, during his weekly 106.7 The Fan appearance, telling The Sports Junkies, “This isn’t about Stephen Strasburg pitching through adversity.”
“This is about winning Game 4 of the playoffs,” he said. “And we feel with Tanner Roark at 100 percent, on full rest, and full preparation to pitch Game 4 from the beginning of the playoffs, he gives us a better chance than a depleted, sick Stephen Strasburg.”
Hours later, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported on another sudden twist, that Strasburg was “now expected to start Game 4.” This came hours before the Cubs were to set their own lineup against the Nats.
Ultimately, it’s Strasburg who gets the nod, and, according to Rizzo on 106.7 The Fan, all other pitchers will be available out of the pen in an all-hands-on-deck scenario, with the Nats fighting for their playoff lives.
Roark, presumably, will be included in that scenario.