A day before their NLDS match-up before the Chicago Cubs starts, the Washington Nationals have announced that Stephen Strasburg will be the starter for Game 1.
This decision is made after ace Max Scherzer is dealing with a tweaked hamstring that he suffered in his final start of the regular season against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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Clearly the defending Cy Young winner, and could potentially win it again in 2017, would be the go-to option for the Nationals if healthy. This season Scherzer went 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA striking out 268 batters, the highest mark in the National League.
Yesterday Mike Rizzo hinted that Scherzer may not see the mound until Game 3. It appears the Nationals will wait on an update on Scherzer before they make their decision for Games 2 or 3.
Dusty said Game 2 will depend on how Scherzer feels in his scheduled bullpen today. Gio Gonzalez is the other choice.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) October 5, 2017
Dusty also confirmed Gio & Scherzer will start the next two games, order TBD from Scherzer’s bullpen https://t.co/jYxPUR5jRB— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) October 5, 2017
If pushed back to Game 3, that would indicate that Nationals' ace would only see action in one game against the Cubs.
Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) is getting the nod up against Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA) who has struggled much of 2017 after a strong run in the Cubs' World Series year. Easily Strasburg could be the top ace on a majority of other rosters in the majors and has dealt with the pressure of being the top guy for his club.
Back on June 28, Strasburg got his lone start against the Cubs on the season. Through seven inninges he allowed four hits, two earned runs, and stuck out 13 batters.
The Nationals are set to take on the Cubs at Nationals Park, Friday at 7:30p.m. on TBS.