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Wire Taps: Nationals and Mets play doubleheader today after rainout

The Washington Nationals' reshuffling of the rotation after last night's rainout has some thinking the starter for Game 1 of the NLDS is now clear, though nothing has been announced. What we do know... THERE'S A DOUBLEHEADER TODAY!!!

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

While the Washington Nationals were rained out last night, forcing them to play a doubleheader with the New York Mets in the nation's capital today, the St. Louis Cardinals' loss to the Cubs in Chicago's Wrigley Field guaranteed that the Nats will have home field advantage in the NLDS:

On Friday October 3rd, the Nationals and an opponent to be named later will start the 2014 postseason.

Who will be on the mound for the Nats in Game 1?

As you'll see below, plenty of Nationals beat writers did the math with the restructuring of the rotation going into the weekend of the regular season and came to the conclusion that a certain 26-year-old right-hander will get the ball. You can read that speculation below.

In an interview with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 the FAN in D.C. on Wednesday, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo was asked about the Nats' postseason rotation, and while he wasn't about to announce which pitcher will be the no.1 or the no.4 starter, he did offer some insight into how the decision will be made.

"We're going to make this decision on the roster and playoff particulars like we do every decision," Rizzo explained.

"We're going to get together as a staff, as a group, and discuss it and debate it and see using our analytical equations, using our staff and their eyeballs and how we evaluate guys and put together the best team, best roster that we feel can compete against the team that we're playing in the next round.

"We do these decisions like we do every other decision that we make in baseball operations, as a unit and as a staff and once we leave the room we're all on board with how the decision came to be."

So... yeah, that didn't help much at all. We'll figure out who the Game 4 starter (if necessary) will be at some point, I'm sure. Until then, links and lots of them... starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:


• "'We did it! We did it!' After 11 years in the major leagues and playing for teams that fell one game short of the playoffs three times, [Scott] Hairston finally could utter those words." - "For some Washington Nationals, first time in playoffs feels like a charm" - James Wagner, The Washington Post


• "The Nationals play the first game of the NLDS on Oct. 3 at Nationals Park. Game 2 is Oct. 4. If necessary, Game 5 would be in D.C. on Oct. 9." - "Nats assured of home-field advantage in NLDS" -

• "In terms of the order for the postseason, it has not been officially announced, but this news makes it look like Strasburg will start Game 1 of the divisional round Friday..." - "Williams sets pitching rotation for remainder of season" - Byron Kerr,

• "In Wednesday's inside Pitch, Holden Kushner sits down with Nats General Manager Mike Rizzo to talk about two men making the magic happen: the skipper, and the closer." - "Inside Pitch: Nats' Mike Rizzo talks about men instrumental in team's success" - Holden Kushner, WUSA9

• "The more-pertinent, long-term effect of all that: Strasburg now is lined up to pitch Game 1 of the NLDS on five days’ rest, with Zimmermann lined up to follow him in Game 2 the next day on the same rest." - "Rainout helps set Nationals’ postseason rotation order" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Mike Rizzo offered an update on the 'scraped' knee Denard Span sustained in the Nationals 4-2 victory over the Mets on Tuesday..." - "Mike Rizzo Doesn’t ‘See Any Problems’ with Denard Span’s Knee Going Forward" - Chris Lingebach, CBS DC

• "Ryan Zimmerman was expected to play nine innings and start in left field Wednesday, but a rainout threw a small wrench into plans to maximize his at-bats over the remainder of the regular season." - "Ryan Zimmerman still working back to full strength for Nats" - Tom Schad, Washington Times

• "How many five-win-above-replacement-level/sub-3.00-ERA starters end up in the playoff bullpen?" - "The Nationals face a tough decision with the postseason rotation" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Williams did not know if Span would play Thursday, but under more urgent conditions he would have been available." - "Denard Span is ‘fine’ despite knee soreness" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Hill was in the instructional league getting ready for Friday's start, which will be his first in the big leagues." - "Nats rained out, set for split doubleheader Thursday" - Bill Ladson,

• "And Roark, at least outwardly, is perfectly fine with all of this, recognizing one deserving member of this rotation is going to have to be the odd man out next week." - "Roark makes his case for postseason rotation spot, but is it enough?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "Back on July 29, the Nationals held a half-game lead over the Braves atop the National League East. As of this morning, that division lead ..." - "Nationals Pastime: Some of this, some of that" - Dan Kolko,

• "The Nationals announced their annual minor league players of the year Wednesday afternoon, giving player of the year to outfielder Steven Souza Jr., pitcher of the year to  Lucas Giolito..." - "Nationals honor Lucas Giolito, Steven Souza, Wilmer Difo with minor league awards" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Giolito, 20 and the Nats' No. 1 prospect, went 10-2 with an organization-best 2.20 ERA in 20 starts for Class A Hagerstown..." - "Souza, Giolito take home Nats' organization awards" - Bill Ladson,

• "'It's been a tremendous year, to cap it off with this reward,' Souza said. 'I'm just truly honored.'" - "Nationals honor Giolito, Souza and Difo (updated with Souza quotes, also Giolito interview note)" - Byron Kerr,

• "Williams said he will limit the pitch counts of his starters in the season’s final week, but he does not expect to make any adjustments to line his rotation up in a particular order before October." - "Nats not ready to name Game 1 starter for NLDS" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "Nationals slugger Ryan Zimmerman was scheduled to start Wednesday's game against the Mets in left field, but the game was called because of rain." - "Zimmerman's night in left field washed out" - Bill Ladson,

• "'It’s not ideal, for sure' Manager Matt Williams said. 'We can’t do much about the weather. It doesn’t look good tonight, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting out of here before tomorrow morning...'" - "Nationals-Mets postponed, will play doubleheader Thursday with reworked rotation" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "If this is indeed LaRoche’s final season with the Nationals, he’s definitely making a lasting impact as the team heads into the postseason." - "Nationals Stock Watch: LaRoche heating up as October approaches" - Daniel Shiferaw, Nats Insider

• "Zimmerman was going to try to get into some games at third base before the playoffs begin, but with soreness from Saturday they do not want to push it." - "Zimmerman back in lineup, latest on Span and Zimmermann" - Byron Kerr,

• "Wednesday's rainout at Nationals Park means the Nats must play two straight doubleheaders as they look to lock down home-field advantage throughout the playoffs' first two rounds." - "New York Mets at Washington Nationals - September 25, 2014" - Anthony DiComo, Preview

• "Though he was back in the Nationals’ lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Mets, Ryan Zimmerman was penciled in to play left field again..." - "Zimmerman returns to left field but not ready yet for third base" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "The other questions – and there are many – surrounding Zimmerman’s status as he returns from a torn hamstring remain unresolved." - "Plenty of uncertainty surrounds Ryan Zimmerman’s return" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "The back-to-back doubleheaders will force the Nationals to make changes to their rotation to finish out the regular season." - "Nationals-Mets game rained out, leading to back-to-back doubleheaders" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "With a couple others who cracked major league rosters tossed in, a remarkable 14 members of last year’s Class AA Harrisburg team appeared in the majors this season." - "The 2013 Harrisburg Senators sent 14 players to the majors this season" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

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• "If it's upside you seek, you won't find it in Doug Fister. He sports a 5.2 K/9 and has struck out three or fewer in each of his past six starts." - "Fantasy Baseball daily notes for September 25 -- pitcher rankings, batter ratings, news, injuries, next level" - Mike Sheets, Fantasy Baseball - ESPN

• "David Wright spent the majority of the season trying to hit with ligaments that were so damaged that they could barely hold his left shoulder joint in place." - "David Wright opting for rehab rather than shoulder surgery" - Marc Carig, Newsday

• "Bryce Harper has one of the best heads of hair in the majors, and no, he doesn't just roll out of bed like that." - "Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper might switch hair gels so his helmet doesn't fly off" - Dan Gartland, Extra Mustard -

• "The Nats are on cruise control and will turn to Treinen as they align things for the playoffs and give their rotation a break." - "Relative Waiver Wire: Streaming Some Crude Kids" - Nicholas Minnix, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

• "Travis d'Arnaud suffered an undisclosed injury Tuesday night in the Mets' loss to the Nationals." - "Travis d'Arnaud out of lineup but thinks he'll play again this season" - Mike Vorkunov,

• "Before calling it a season, the Marlins are giving their top prospect, Andrew Heaney, one final start." - "Marlins tab prospect Heaney for start vs. Nats" - Joe Frisaro,

• "Owner of a 4.95 ERA since July 19, Gee has been better of late, posting a 3.98 mark over his last five starts." - "New York Mets at Washington Nationals - September 25, 2014" - Anthony DiComo, Preview


• "The way in which the titles were celebrated were different in terms of location and timing, but for a ballclub nine years into its current incarnation, this is certainly a celebration worthy of Washington's time." - "Younger Nats fans lucky to experience winning baseball in D.C." - Nationals Buzz: Rachel Levitin,

• "Harper, who was 2 when Jeter made his major league debut, paid tribute to the Captain during Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Mets at Nationals Park by wearing a Jeter wristband." - "Bryce Harper honors Derek Jeter by wearing the captain of all of baseball’s wristband" - Scott Allen, The Washington Post

• "On Tuesday, the Palm Beach County Commission voted down a proposition to build a $140.1 million spring training stadium for major league ball clubs Houston Astros and Washington Nationals." - "Palm Beach County Commission Strikes Down New Baseball Stadium" - Chris Joseph, New Times Broward-Palm Beach

• "A divided Palm Beach County Commission rejected a request by the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros to sweeten the county's proposal to build a spring training stadium for the two teams in West Palm Beach." - "Palm Beach balks at sweetening deal for Nationals" - David Berman, Florida Today

• "The Nationals are apparently beating fictional teams now." - "Nationals stay hot with win over ‘Atlanta Mets’" - Scott Allen, The Washington Post

• "Wednesday AL" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "On the verge of clinching home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs and with post-season tickets already sold out, the Washington Nationals are warning fans to be aware of ticket scams." - "Nats playoff tickets are the hottest tickets in town, but beware of scammers" - Jay Korff,

• "Steven Souza Jr. has to be running out of room on his trophy shelf." - "Another honor for Syracuse Chiefs' Steven Souza Jr.: Nationals' minor league Player of the Year" - Lindsay Kramer,

• "'I mean, that’s scary stuff. He hasn’t washed his hair in probably the last month and a half, I’d say.'" - Bryce Harper on Jayson Werth's hair/beard - "Bryce Harper on hair pomade, and why his helmets fly off on the basepaths" - Dan Steinberg, The Washington Post

• "This year, Steven Souza Jr. takes the prize for Player of the Year while Lucas Giolito will be honored with Pitcher of the Year. Wilmer Difo becomes just the second player to be given the Bob Boone Award." - "Washington Nationals: Souza Jr., Giolito and Difo Honored" - Brian Skinnell, District Sports Page

• "Lincoln wore the tutu along with a paint-stained t-shirt to promote the upcoming Color Run this weekend at Nationals Park." - "GIF: Abe Lincoln wins presidents race in a tutu" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "Federal Reserve: 2014′s Top Performing Minor Leaguers" - Zack Spedden, The Nats Blog


Braves: "They won for just the fifth time in 21 September games, while the surging Pirates lost for only the fourth time in their past 19 games, after clinching a playoff berth with a 3-2 win Tuesday." - "Braves beat Pirates to snap skid, keep .500 hopes alive" - David O'Brien,

Mets: "Lucas Duda has played for the Mets long enough that it might be difficult to remember he never has faced this kind of grind before." - "Despite September swoon, Duda’s locked down 1B job in 2015" - Mike Puma, New York Post

Marlins: "The Marlins are giving top prospect Andrew Heaney one last start this season, in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader in Washington." - "Miami Marlins’ Andrew Heaney will get one last start this year" - Ava Wallace, The Miami Herald

Phillies: "In the end, prudence will prevail. The Phillies have no incentive to play Rollins." - "Phillies Notes: Rollins likely to miss rest of season" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer