All season long the Washington Nationals have maintained they will shut down their ace Stephen Strasburg at 160 innings. At first no one believed them, but here we are in the middle of August, and the Nationals are sticking to their story.
With the team almost certain to make the playoffs, will they actually go through with the plan? Baseball fans everywhere are hoping not.
Let me first say, that I get it. I get it Nationals management, you don’t want to ruin your best pitcher’s arm. He is the key piece of your franchise, and you don’t want to lose him.
But come on now. Everybody knows why you play the game Washington…
That’s the thing, winning a lot of baseball games in Washington doesn’t happen all that often. The last world series victory came in 1924 when the Washington Senators defeated the New York Giants. Calvin Coolidge was President…
So with a month and a half to go in the regular season, and the best record in MLB, they wan’t to shut down the Phenom? Washington is in the best position they’ve been in decades, and they’re just going to play it safe.
It’s not like Strasburg has been overworked this season, he’s thrown 139.1 innings so far, the 56th most in baseball. He’s only averaging 5.8 innings per start.
What I don’t get, is that since the Nationals are almost a lock for the playoffs, why don’t they just scale him down now? Have him skip a start here and there over the next month and a half. There’s no reason they can’t keep him around 160 innings, and still pitch him in the playoffs. But so far there has been no indication of Strasburg slowing down.
In the end, I think Washington will cave. You can only imagine the backlash from the city and baseball community if they don’t.
Chances to win titles are few and far between in the major sports. The Nationals have as good of a chance as any to make a run this October, but they need their ace to get it done.
You can’t count on next year, just ask the Chicago Cubs how that’s working out for them.
The time is now for the Washington Nationals. To not fully take advantage of this situation would be a huge letdown for the city and the game of baseball. The game needs a Nationals storyline this October.
Are they taking a risk by pitching Strasburg more than his limit? I suppose, but then it becomes a risk vs. reward situation, and if you’re not playing sports for the rewards, you’re playing for the wrong reasons.