UPDATE: Stephen Strasburg diagnosed with shoulder inflammation

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UPDATE: Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said that an MRI and X-ray on Stephen Strasburg showed only inflammation in his right shoulder and no structural damage, reports Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com. He is currently listed as day-to-day.

7:34 PM: According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo made the decision to pull the plug after Stephen Strasburg was having trouble getting loose.

The Nats are calling it precautionary, however Strasburg is scheduled to undergo an MRI and an X-ray, just to cover all the necessary bases. Whatever your team affiliation, let’s hope it’s nothing.

7:07 PM: According to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com, Stephen Strasburg has been scratched from Tuesday’s start against the Braves. The reason why isn’t immediately clear.

For those without the benefit of the MASN feed, Strasburg was warming up in front of Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty before the game and it was pretty clear something just wasn’t right. Ivan Rodriguez could be seen consoling Strasburg before he left the bullpen mound. Miguel Batista came out to start Tuesday’s game, instead.

It’s disappointing for those who wanted to see Strasburg face Jason Heyward, but the Nationals aren’t going to gamble on the future of their franchise, not when they are 15 1/2 games out of first place in the National League East. We’ll pass along further information when it is made available.

Anthems, first pitches and other ceremonial stuff

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The World Series is not just about the baseball. It’s about the bigger-than-usual stars singing the National Anthem, the more-famous-than-usual people throwing out the first pitch and all of the assorted to-do which surrounds the ballgames. Here is that sort of stuff for Game 1 and Game 2 in Boston.

First pitches:

  • Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1. Yastrzemski also threw out the first pitch of Game 1 in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Red Sox won each of those games and each of those World Series so, yeah, go with what works, right?
  • Members of the 2004 World Series Champions will throw the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2. It doesn’t say which members, so maybe my dream of Manny Ramirez doing it will work out after all. Hey, he played for the Dodgers too, so let’s make this happen, OK?

National Anthems:

  • Singer-songwriter James Taylor will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of Game 1. This morning Peter Gammons tweeted that Taylor’s family helped build Fenway Park. Let’s file that under “interesting, but not so interesting that it’s really worth tracking down to confirm, so why not believe it?” Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.
  • For Game 2 the National Anthem will be performed by the Boston Pops, with the Tanglewood Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Chorus doing the singing. The Boston Pops are conducted by Keith Lockhart, who was a career .287/.354/.425 hitter in 37 postseason games with the Atlanta Braves. I mean, at least I’m pretty sure it’s the same Keith Lockhart. Again: not interesting enough to check so, like Gammons’ thing about James Taylor, let’s assume I’m right about this.

Play ball.