Drew Silva

Baseball Daily Dose

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Postseason Dose: Strassed Out

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


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After hoping against hope that the ugly forecast over Wrigley Field might break, MLB officials announced 45 minutes after the scheduled 5:30 p.m. ET first pitch that Tuesday night’s NLDS Game 4 between the Nationals and Cubs had been postponed due to rain.


Game 4 of the NLDS will be made up Wednesday at 4:08 p.m. ET, with Jake Arrieta staying on schedule for the host Cubs and Tanner Roark surprisingly staying on tap for the visiting Nats.


The rainout gave Nationals manager Dusty Baker the opportunity to start Stephen Strasburg on normal rest in what could be a season-deciding tilt, but Baker told the media during his post-postponement press conference on Tuesday evening that Strasburg is a little “under the weather” and will be held out until Thursday’s Game 5. If the series gets that far. Chicago holds a 2-1 lead over Washington in the best-of-five NLDS, so Wednesday’s makeup game could be it.


It’s an odd call by Baker and the Nationals’ brass. Advantages are always slim and flimsy in the randomness of MLB’s postseason -- especially in the best-of-five Division Series rounds -- but you have take them where you can get them. Strasburg must really be sick, though he was spotted playing catch at Wrigley Field before Tuesday’s game officially got banged. And he also threw a bullpen session on Monday.


Strasburg worked seven strong innings in his NLDS Game 1 start versus the Cubs, striking out 10 batters and yielding two unearned runs. Chicago went on to win that game, but that was no fault of Strasburg’s. Just like it was no fault of Max Scherzer’s that the Nationals dropped Game 3 on Monday. Get your pitchforks primed, Nationals fans.



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Encarnacion Good For Game 5?


Edwin Encarnacion went down with an ugly-looking ankle injury Friday in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Yankees and he hasn’t made a plate appearance since, but it sounds like the veteran slugger could start at DH for the Tribe in Wednesday night’s decisive ALDS Game 5.


Encarnacion went through a series of running drills and took batting practice during Tuesday’s off-day workout at Progressive Field. He spoke to Marly Rivera of ESPN afterward …


“It's ultimately the manager's decision whether I'll be in the lineup or not,” said Encarnacion. “But I'll be ready to play .... There is no tomorrow and I have to do whatever's necessary to be in the lineup because I know that I can help this team win.”


The 34-year-old put up an .881 OPS with 38 home runs and 107 RBI in 157 games during the regular season. He is 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored so far in the best-of-five Division Series.



Quick Hits: Indians manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that Giovanny Urshela has some soreness in his left leg … Max Scherzer will be available out of the Nationals' bullpen in Wednesday's postponed NLDS Game 4 against the Cubs … Twins general manager Thad Levine said Tuesday that the club is still mulling over surgery to address the stress reaction in Miguel Sano's right shin … Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen confirmed Tuesday that the club will attempt to re-sign J.D. MartinezMitch Moreland said following Monday's ALDS Game 4 loss that trying to manage a broken toe most likely led to him developing his current knee injury … Marlins left-hander Dillon Peters will not pitch in the Arizona Fall League … White Sox outfielder Charlie Tilson (foot) has been playing in instructional league games in Arizona … Rangers outrighted RHP Paolo Espino, INF Will Middlebrooks, OF Jared Hoying, and INF/OF Phil Gosselin off their 40-man roster.



Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
Email :Drew Silva



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