Amidst Mass Confusion, Tanner Roark Will Take The Mound Today In A Must-Win Game 4

Alright well….that’s something. The Nats were gifted a rain delay, the ability to start Strasburg in a must-win game 4 instead of Tanner Roark…and Dusty is sticking with Tanner Roark. Very interesting decision to go with your #4 in a must-win playoff game instead of your Cy Young candidate phenom, if I don’t say so myself.

There are all sorts of “reasons” flying around about why Dusty is sticking with Roark.

One such reason is Dusty said twice that Stras pitched a bullpen session yesterday, which would make no sense if he was on the mound today. Did the Nats fuck up and have Stras throw a bullpen session, even though they knew it would be pouring rain and the game would be postponed? So many conflicting reports:

But then it was announced Stras is extremely sick and won’t pitch because of that:

And maybe he didn’t throw a bullpen session yesterday and is really sick????



There’s just so many weird reports going on, nobody knows what’s up or down anymore.

1) They had Strasburg throw a bullpen session yesterday, preparing him to pitch as normal for game 5, deciding Roark was pitching game 4 no matter what.

2) Strasburg, known for pitching through pain, is legit unable to start because of illness, which stinks but happens.

3) Is someone lying about something? What day did Stras throw a session? Why would some reports say Monday, and some say Tuesday? Some reports are saying Dusty just messed up the days, he meant Monday but said Tuesday.

What we do know is Stras is at least somewhat to very sick. Via the Washington Post:

Strasburg is not the only Nationals player to be sick. But Strasburg was sick enough that he cut short his normal bullpen session Monday after just 20 to 25 pitches. The Nats, knowing that Game 4 might be rained out, asked Strasburg whether he could pitch Wednesday.

“I’ll give you what I’ve got,” Strasburg said, according to General Manager Mike Rizzo, who was in the meeting.

Those are the words you want to hear, in one sense, because it means your $175 million star will suck it up and perform. On the other hand, they’re exactly the words you don’t want to hear because Strasburg has, in recent years, shown such a high tolerance for pain that he has touched it out until he ended up on the disabled list. So, “I’ll give you what I’ve got” means the guy is sick as a dog.

“We just think it’s smarter to give Stras the extra day to get better and, hopefully, have him at full strength if we get to a Game 5,” Rizzo said.

And about which day the bullpen session was:

“We’d be idiots if we let him throw [Tuesday],” Rizzo said. “Who would do that?”

I have no choice but to believe that. Stras would go if he could, but the Nats believe Roark gives the Nats the best chance of winning the game, and for good reason:


Ah, you see how the blog slowly progressed into a “maybe it’s not so bad after all” adventure? Win today, and Strasburg takes the bump at home for a game 5. Roark has great vs the Cubbies, so hey, let’s see what he can do. As confusing as all of this has been, there’s still 2 games to win, so maybe let’s get more than 3 hits today and make it not matter who the starter is? That’d be great.