Somehow Tuesday’s postponed game between the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs turned into one of the most bizarre and funniest stories of the season. Personally my favorite story of the year. Anyway, Dusty Baker said Tanner Roark is going to start Game 4 on Wednesday instead of Stephen Strasburg, who could have gone on normal rest. Baker’s explanation was a debacle, saying Strasburg was feeling under the weather and blaming mold in Chicago for it. However, he also said that Strasburg threw a bullpen on Tuesday and because of that he wasn’t available to start Wednesday.
At the end, it appears like Baker was making shit up to protect Strasburg, who for whatever reason, isn’t ready to start in the most important game of the season for the Nationals. This entire situation was a giant mess for the Nationals and now all the criticism has shifted from Baker to Strasburg.
With Max Scherzer unable to pitch in the first two games of the NLDS against the Cubs because of a hamstring injury, Strasburg was impressive in Game 1 on Friday, pitching a no-hitter through five innings and only allowing three hits in seven innings, striking out 10. He’s been the best pitcher in baseball and when his team needs him the most he’s not taking the ball.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 10, 2017
Well, that didn’t sit well for former Cubs catcher and now ESPN baseball analyst David Ross.
Here’s what Ross had to say about Strasburg not making the Game 4 start, as the Cubs are one win away from eliminating the Nationals from the playoffs.
David Ross on "Baseball Tonight": "If I'm his teammate … I can't look him in the eye." #Strasburg
— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) October 11, 2017
So, instead of Strasburg, Roark will start but the Nationals might have some backup. Scherzer, who pitched on Monday and Gio Gonzalez who started Game 2 on Saturday, appear to be ready to come in for Game 4.
So Strasburg will be the only pitcher unavailable Wednesday. Scherzer could go an inning. Gio could relieve. https://t.co/GNocNaP0Tl
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) October 10, 2017
Weird times for the Nationals, who are on the brink of elimination and don’t have their best pitcher starting in an elimination game on normal rest. Meanwhile, the Cubs are still going with Jake Arrieta and it will be his first start since Sept. 26. Arrieta, like Scherzer, also suffered a hamstring injury.
Game 4 will start at 3:08 p.m.