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Wire Taps: Why Stephen Strasburg won’t start; Dusty Baker’s future shouldn’t depend on playoffs; Tanner Roark + Jake Arrieta are similar

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of Game 4 of the NLDS with the Cubs...

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MLB: NLDS-Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Every stat, every number would suggest that today will be the final day of the Nationals’ season. There’s no logical reason to think that the Nats can break out of this slump, that Tanner Roark can turn into Max Scherzer, that Trea Turner will finally get on base. The Nats have 27 outs to work with. Let’s see what they can do anyways, just for the hell of it:

For what looks like it’ll be the last time this season (and today, we mean it, because there’s no rain in the forecast): Here’s the news from the Nationals’ dugout.

Okay, here's why Stephen Strasburg won't start Game 4
Dusty Baker misspoke, it set the media into a frenzy, and when the facts -- those being that Strasburg's bullpen was on Monday, not Tuesday -- came out, it was too late to settle anything down. In other news, everyone but Strasburg is available to pitch today.

Roark set to start Game 4 versus Cubs
Tanner Roark grew up going to Wrigley as a Cubs fan, but will hope to prolong the Nats' season by another day when he pitches there this afternoon.

Wait, what? Nats leave Stephen Strasburg story muddled for Game 4
Strasburg is sick, and that should be that, end of story, right? Except after a cut-down bullpen session, all he told Mike Rizzo was "I'll give you what I got." Meaning that he could essentially be dying and would still pitch. So it's Tanner Roark. Why did that take so long for the Nats to explain to us?

Source: Strasburg declined Game 4 start
Stephen Strasburg didn't throw a pitch on Tuesday, but apparently just wasn't able to go on Thursday. It could've saved the Nationals' season (although that really lies on the offense). Either way, their chances would be a lot better with Strasburg on the hill. Welp.

Baker's future with Nats shouldn't depend on postseason results
Nats fans, for some reason, are blaming what appears to be another NLDS loss on Dusty Baker, who leads a clubhouse like no manager the Nats have ever seen before. Why should GMs be able to call the playoffs a crapshoot and then fire their managers when it proves to be just that?

The Cubs have seen everything the Nats have to offer, and have rolled with the punches
"So what? Now what?" is the rallying cry in Chicago this season.

Show me the difference between Jake Arrieta and Tanner Roark
Hint: You probably can't. They're very similar by advanced metrics.

Defending Dusty Baker's bullpen usage
By the numbers, Baker's decisions made sense. By everything the Nats had done this season, his decisions made sense. By the well-executed pitches both Solis and Perez made, Baker made the right decision. By the result of Anthony Rizzo's at-bat, one could argue Baker made the right decision. Of course, by the runs crossing the plate, well.

(Rubber) chicken sacrificed ahead of game 4

Bryce Harper hitting third, Werth second as Nats try to fend off elimination
Dusty Baker made a few non-drastic lineup changes ahead of Game 4.

Nats have to look for a new AAA affiliate for 2019
Assuming the Nats want to stay in the International League, it would make sense that they would go for Rochester -- or, if they wanted to get crazy, they could go for Norfolk.

Stephen Strasburg's legacy now on the line
If Stephen Strasburg doesn't get the chance to redeem himself in Game 5 after supposedly turning down a Game 4 start due to sickness, then his reputation will forever read "soft" in the, uh, reputation books of baseball.

Today’s Game: Washington Nationals vs Chicago Cubs — 4:08 PM (TBS)
Probable Pitchers: Tanner Roark vs Jake Arrieta