In a sudden change of direction, Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg will start Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs. The team announced the change at 11:51 a.m. Wednesday.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Tuesday that Strasburg would not be available for Game 4 despite the game being pushed back an extra day because of rain. Baker said Strasburg was sick and Tanner Roark would start.
Early Wednesday, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo strongly defended the decision on 106.7 The Fan, saying those who questioned the move have no credibility.
Strasburg had reportedly told the coaching staff Tuesday he wasn’t able to go for Game 4. Rizzo said he looked depleted in a bullpen session on Monday.
“He was just toasted really, really fast in the bullpen,” Rizzo said. “He had no endurance. To us, that’s the biggest key. He didn’t improve and got worse yesterday in terms of how he’s feeling.”
But apparently, Strasburg is feeling well enough to pitch. That would be huge news for the Nationals, who are facing elimination in Chicago.
Strasburg carried a no-hitter through the sixth inning in Game 1, but the Nationals lost 3-0.
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