Stephen Strasburg

Nationals will continue to start Stephen Strasburg at home


They’ll say it’s not about the money.  But it’s very much about the money.

The Nationals have mapped out Stephen Strasburg’s September schedule, and in what should come as a surprise to no one, the plan is for him to keep pitching at Nationals Ballpark.

Strasburg, who made his season debut Tuesday against the Dodgers, was already set to pitch on four days’ rest Sunday against the Astros in D.C.  He’ll make his subsequent two starts on five days’ rest Sept. 17 against the Marlins and Sept. 23 against the Braves.

If all three outings go as hoped, the Nats said there’s a chance he could start Sept. 28 in Florida in what will be the team’s season finale.  Still, that’s not part of the plan at this point.

Unless Strasburg makes that start, all four of his September outings will have come at home.  And who can blame the Nats for trying to work things out that way?  Half the reason they made the announcement now is to try to sell tickets for those dates.  There just isn’t much other reason for Nationals fans to head to the ballpark at the moment.

Walt Weiss returning as Rockies manager in 2016

Walt Weiss
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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As first reported by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rockies have decided to bring back manager Walt Weiss for the 2016 season — the final year of a three-year deal he signed after his debut season in 2013.

Weiss carries a rough 208-278 managerial record through his first three years at the helm for Colorado, but it’s not like the rosters he’s been managing have been built to win.

The biggest need for the Rockies this winter is pitching — both starters and relievers — and general manager Jeff Bridich is also being retained for the 2016 season to try to find some.

Colorado’s starters and relievers combined for a 5.04 ERA in 2015, worst in MLB.

Colorado’s offense produced 737 runs, ranking fifth in the major leagues.

Astros flashing power early in AL Wild Card Game

Colby Rasmus
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Houston got on the board first in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game at Yankee Stadium when Colby Rasmus led off the top of the second inning with a solo home run to deep right field against Masahiro Tanaka.

It was the first career postseason homer for Rasmus, whose only other postseason experience came in 2009 with St. Louis. He slugged 25 home runs during the 2015 regular season and will be looking to cash in as a free agent whenever the Astros’ postseason runs come to an end. A big October (and perhaps early November) would obviously help that.

Tanaka retired the next two batters after the Rasmus bomb, but he gave up a single and two walks to load the bases before eventually inducing an inning-ending fielder’s choice groundout from Jose Altuve. Tanaka’s shakiness extended into the third and fourth innings, with Carlos Gomez adding a solo shot to left field in the top of the fourth.

Houston leads 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth. Astros starter Dallas Keuchel has looked sharp on three days of rest, tallying five strikeouts through four scoreless frames.