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Stephen Strasburg now expected to start for the Nationals

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network just tweeted that Stephen Strasburg is now likely to pitch for the Nationals today in their Game 4 matchup with the Chicago Cubs. UPDATE: It’s official. Strasburg has the start.

If this holds, it’s certainly a reversal from yesterday, when Dusty Baker and the Nats said Strasburg was too sick to pitch. That led to a bunch of confusion, with some reporting that it was simply a matter of miscommunication and others suggesting that, in reality, Strasburg had begged out of his start.

Did Strasburg shrink from the spotlight in today’s Game 4? Was he really sick? If so, was he so sick that it was reasonable to rule him out for a Wednesday start on a Tuesday? If not, why did they do it anyway? Did Strasburg and/or the Nats get a sense of the heat they were taking over all of this and cave?

No idea. All I now is that this has been the most confusing 18 hours or so I can recall in the runup to a playoff game in some time.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.