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.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.