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Wire Taps: Stephen Strasburg Pitcher of the Month; Dusty Baker thinks Cubs matchup destiny; How to beat Chicago

Did you make it through the first day without Nationals baseball? We’ve got some links to make today easier...

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

How many more days until baseball again? FOUR? ARE YOU INSANE?

Here’s what’s hopping at Nationals Park.

Stephen Strasburg named Pitcher of the Month
Strasburg led the Majors in FIP at 1.55, with a 4-0 record in five starts. Not. Bad.

Baker feels like matchup with Cubs was destined
Dusty Baker nearly got the Cubs to the World Series more than a decade ago. Now, he'll finally manage postseason baseball at Wrigley again -- just from the other dugout.

The playoffs' off-days can mess up a team's schedule very easily
Baseball is consistent, and that's all it is: Day in, day out, play a game, then another. When it comes to October, that changes. How does it affect the players?

Hey, remember how bad the Nats' bullpen was? It's very much not anymore
The Nats are the underdogs, but they do have better pitching than the Cubs by the number. Remember when that would've been a laughable line? Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson don't.

Let's talk playoffs
A few things: Jayson Werth earned a starting job, the whole Max Scherzer thing could be a fake-out, or a double-fakeout, and don't worry about the offense, because everyone was frickin' injured. Either way, the NLDS will come down to if everyone is healed enough.

What, exactly, will the postseason roster look like?
There are four bench locks, and one question mark. The starting lineup is set, but what about the bullpen?

Here's how you beat the Cubs
Battle Jon Lester, look for just one thing against Jake Arrieta, and for the love of god, don't leave a changeup up to Kris Bryant.

Nationals’ middle relievers key to series win
Brandon Kintzler, Madson, and Doolittle have the back covered. What about the middle relief core, though, in games where starters rarely pass five innings?

WaPo Mailbag: Is Baker's future contingent on the NLDS? Should Werth start?
Also, who's starting Game 1, and what's the deal with Anthony Rendon's contract?

Nats line up workout schedule in preparation for Postseason
Everyone got the day off Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday, the team will go back to basics, with pitchers' fielding practice, infield, outfield, and Thursday will be batting practice and the media interview with the Game 1 starter.

NBA socks invade MLB, MLS
The Nationals are supposed to be wearing Stance socks. Or some baseball socks. Instead, they're wearing NBA socks. Go figure.

Racing Teddy completes first winless season since 2011, seventh overall
No drama, no wins for Teddy. Maybe in October. Maybe in the World Series.

Madison Bumgarner propelled the Giants to the World Series in 2014. Who will do it again this year?
Chris Sale is looking good. Max Scherzer, apparently less so.

Post Staff makes playoff predictions:

Previewing the Postseason from A-Z
A is for Altuve, B is for Bullpens, X is for Xander Bogaerts.


Here's why Chicago's destined to go back to back
The Cubs are hot, their pitching is reaching peak form at the right time, the offense is raking, the depth is incredible -- in short, the Nationals are just a short stretch on the road back to an inevitable World Series repeat.

Cubs' NLDS rotation becoming more clear
Joe Maddon thinks that a healthy Jon Lester gives the Cubs an advantage over the Nationals in the starting rotation department, especially if Max Scherzer doesn't pitch for the Nationals until Game 3.