In announcing that Tanner Roark would start against Atlanta yesterday, Washington Nationals' manager Dusty Baker said he hoped Stephen Strasburg, who was scratched due to illness, would be able to return this afternoon for the series finale with the Braves.
"We'd like to think that Stras will be ready tomorrow and if he's not then we'll come up with another solution," Baker told reporters.
"He was really sick yesterday and so he feels better today than he did yesterday," Baker said, so they hoped he would be able to take the mound and spare the Nationals from further complicating things with the rotation or bullpen.
Baker was asked again after the 3-0 win over the Braves if they had any further update on Strasburg's health or knew if he would be good to go today?
"We hope. We still don't know. I probably won't know until we get [to the park]."
While Strasburg's status was still uncertain [ed. note - "Spoiler alert, as you'll see below, he's going to start."] Baker had plans to get some of his other players rest.
Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon got a night off last night.
"I just thought that Anthony might need a day, and [Stephen] Drew, we've got to try him sometime. And then we'll do a couple more guys tomorrow, probably. And with Zim, we're going to need Zim tomorrow against their No. 1 and also it's kind of a afternoon after a night game. I've got to preserve Zim.
"I'm sure he wants to play every day, because that's how he is and that's how you're supposed to be, but it's up to me to kind of do what I think is best for the player."
Zimmerman and Rendon are back in today. Getting a rest are Jayson Werth and Michael A. Taylor. Chris Heisey is in left in place of Werth and Matt den Dekker is in center for the fourth game of four with the Braves: