Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez was weighing his options for Game 2’s starter in the NLDS when he spoke to reporters last night, explaining that even though right-hander Stephen Strasburg had thrown 34 pitches in three scoreless innings in relief in the Wild Card Game with the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday onight, he was still in the mix to start against the Los Angeles Dodgers tomorrow.
“We’ll see,” Martinez said. “Obviously, Stephen threw the ball well yesterday for us. We have other options. So we’ll see how it transpires over the next day.”
“Obviously, it’s going to be a quick turnaround,” the manager added.
“I would just want to give him a day to recoup. We just got off a flight, so want to see how he feels.”
Earlier this evening, in his pregame presser before Game 1, Martinez announced that it was going to be Strasburg starting in LA on Friday night.
“I talked to him today, this morning,” the second-year skipper explained.
“And he said he felt great and he wanted to pitch, so he’s ready to go. I wanted to make sure that he was good to go today. For me it’s like he threw a side of 34 pitches with intensity.
“That’s the way I looked at it the other day. So he says he feels really good, so he’s ready to go.”
An intense side session or bullpen? Is that how Strasburg viewed his outing in the Wild Card Game?
“Yeah, it was definitely the most adrenaline I’ve ever had for a bullpen, so yeah, I mean it felt good,” he said.
Was the call to take the ball a difficult one for the Nationals’ 31-year-old starter? Or was it a situation where it’s the postseason and you want to get out there and help?
“Yeah, I’m just one of 25 guys and we have had an amazing run all the way to this point and excited to get the opportunity to keep it going,” Strasburg said. “But really, I mean, it is, my arm’s felt great all year and my routine’s kind of improved this year over previous seasons.”
The changes to his routine, he explained, had to do with his work between starts to make sure he’s able to take the mound.
“I think it’s learning how to manage throwing in between, when you don’t feel right, kind of knowing what you got to do to make yourself feel better,” he explained.
“It’s just understanding the length of the season, understanding your body better, and really just making those adjustments when you need to.”
Martinez said he just wanted to see Strasburg go through his routine once they got to LA to see if he came out of it feeling ready to go after a quick turnaround.
“I spoke to him earlier today and he said he felt great,” the Nats’ skipper said, so it’s going to be Strasburg vs the Dodgers tomorrow night in Dodger Stadium.
After the outing on Tuesday, will Strasburg be limited in any way this time out?
“There’s no limitations,” Martinez said. “He’s going to go out there and pitch and hopefully he gives us seven, eight strong innings.”
Strasburg finished his 10th major league campaign with a 3.32 ERA, a 3.25 FIP, 56 walks (2.41 BB/9), and 251 Ks (10.81 K/9) in 33 starts and 209 innings pitched.