Dusty Baker announced this morning that Stephen Strasburg will get the Game One NLDS start for the Nationals against the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.
As expected, Max Scherzer is being pushed back due to his wonky hamstring. Baker has yet to decide if Scherzer will be good to go for Game 2 on Saturday or if, instead, he’ll need extra rest and will make the Game Three start. He’ll throw a bullpen session today, after which more will be known. If he starts Saturday, he’d be available to come back for a potential Game 5 on full rest.
While Scherzer is the clear ace of the Nats and will once again figure in the Cy Young race, Strasburg is a fine choice for a Game One starter himself. He was 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 204/47 in 175.1 innings this season. He’ll face off against the Cubs Kyle Hendricks tomorrow evening.
Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.
Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.
Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.