Tuesday’s rainout of NLDS Game 4 was seen by many as a blessing in disguise for the Nationals, as it allows the Nationals an opportunity to start Stephen Strasburg in Game 4. Tanner Roark was scheduled to start and he will start tomorrow, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.
It seems like an odd decision, but according to Baker, Strasburg is feeling “under the weather,” Muskat adds. Also, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, Strasburg had already thrown his bullpen in anticipation of starting Thursday.
After all of that, it just seems like poor timing for the Nationals. Had the game been postponed sooner, Strasburg could’ve not thrown the bullpen and been ready to start Wednesday. Strasburg is clearly the better option over Roark. Strasburg finished the regular season 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA and a 204/47 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings. Roark posted a 4.67 ERA with a 166/64 K/BB ratio in 181 1/3 innings.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: