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Wire Taps: Stephen Strasburg Nationals’ NLDS G1 starter, Gio Gonzalez G2?; Cubs will target Ryan Zimmerman; Strasburg has been waiting for this moment...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the NLDS with the Cubs tonight in the nation’s capital...

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

It all begins today. But instead of a witty opening, I have a few things for you to read and watch:

Reconstructing the Dodgers' Game 5 win over the Nats in the 2016 NLDS
On the eve of the playoffs, revisit one of the best games ever at Nationals Park -- a rollercoaster ride that specialized in making you repeatedly throw up -- and then lower your expectations.


Reminder: Cubs owner predicts Nats will "crumble" in NLDS


Alright. Now that your expectations are thoroughly lowered, here’s the beat from South Capitol Street.

Strasburg gets Game 1, Gonzalez appears to get Game 2
Stephen Strasburg was officially named the Nats' Game 1 NLDS starter on Thursday, and Gio Gonzalez threw a bullpen (while Max Scherzer continued to wait it out). Enough said?

The Cubs will go after Ryan Zimmerman, without a doubt
Ryan Zimmerman, has, uh, *really* struggled against Chicago pitching. In other words, expect the Cubs to spend a lot of time attacking his bat.

Two aces should be enough for the Nats to advance
Stephen Strasburg has just one memory of the playoffs, a mediocre Game 1 performance against the San Francisco Giants three years ago. Starting pitching wins postseason games, though, and it seems that Strasburg and Scherzer are good enough this year to do that.

Mike Rizzo on Cubs: "We respect them, but we don't fear them."
The Cubs have already stirred the pot plenty, so the Nationals don't want to add any fuel to Chicago's fire, but they're itching internally to get going and dethrone the kings.

Game 1 is the moment Stephen Strasburg has been waiting -- and was shut down -- for
Strasburg has been in Max Scherzer's shadow for the last three seasons. With Scherzer injured, though, he's getting a chance to step up. Which, if you think about it, is why the Nats shut him down five years ago.

'Silent Assassin' Stephen Strasburg had to temper perfectionism to be able to pitch come October
Strasburg wasn't surprised when he got the call for Game 1, but he's a much less well-known name than Max Scherzer. More importantly, he's healthy, he's great, and he was able to get rid of some bad habits on the way to being useful for October.

NLDS Predictions: Experts pick Nats over Cubs, are you insane

Harper, Bryant, face off in D.C. with Vegas on the mind
Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant -- childhood pals from Las Vegas -- discussed life, baseball, and the tragedy in Las Vegas yesterday when the two teams met for the first time since August at Nationals Park.

Here's why the Nats can defy their awful postseason history
This is the October that it changes! Really! We mean it this time! Definitely!

Nationals officially choosing between Gonzalez, Scherzer for Game 2
Gonzalez threw the bullpen session that Scherzer was supposed to throw, but then again, who knows, Scherzer could've thrown a secret underground bullpen session just to fool the Cubs.

In the NLDS, it's "been there, done that" Cubs versus hapless-in-October Nationals
The Cubs know exactly what they're doing, where to go from here. The Nats have tried three times and still haven't stumbled upon the formula for postseason success. What does that mean for this series?

How much did the Nationals Dusty-proof their team?
Max Scherzer sure doesn't sound ready to go, despite the Nats' claims. The starting pitching is throwing way too many pitches. What the hell, Dusty?

SiriusXM host who knows literally nothing suggests that Thomas Boswell doesn't belong in media
You come at Bos, you come at us.

Stephen Strasburg, Nationals, have been waiting for this chance
In his eighth season with the team, Strasburg has finally put up dominant numbers and is ready to perform for the Nats in the postseason. The Nats have just been waiting to watch him shine.

Harper surprises wife with custom jacket for playoffs
Pearls, OSU, patches, and all that jazz.

As playoffs begin, the question looms: Are there enough rally towels?
The most words you've ever seen about rally towels, in addition to the nugget that the Nats will be using, of all things, cheer cards for Game 1. Whatever the hell those are.


Ben Zobrist feels the best he's felt all year
He's apparently bouncing.

Looking at the Nats' and Cubs' starting pitchers
In short, hamstrings have never been more important. But first, let's talk about Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, and Jose Quintana! And use advanced stats! Actually, this is a really good article!

Taking a look at all the Nats/Cubs games played this season
A lot of them were really close, and really fun to watch. Exciting times! (Also, one or two bullpen meltdowns pre-revamp are in there.)

Maddon wishes Murphy was still a Met
Murphy infamously tortured the Cubs in the 2015 NLCS, and needless to say, the Cubs are worried about history repeating itself.

Cubs to keep an eye on in the NLDS
Javy Baez, Mike Montgomery, and Anthony Rizzo are names to watch in the playoffs.

Today’s Game: Cubs vs Nationals — 7:31 PM (TBS)
Probable Pitchers: Kyle Hendricks vs Stephen Strasburg