UPDATE: Strasburg has decided to power through #MoldGate and pitch Game 4 for the Nationals.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) October 11, 2017
ORIGINAL STORY: The Nationals were gifted an extra day of rest for their star pitcher Stephen Strasburg after Game 4 of the NLDS was postponed from Tuesday to Wednesday. However, that gift was thrown straight into the garbage because of a… mold problem?
As if we all needed another reason to laugh and roll our eyes at the Nats’ playoff history, mold might be the downfall to Washington’s 97-win season. Not a Bryce Harper injury, not the performance of one of their Cy Young caliber starters, but MOLD. M-O-L-D.
Due to an illness apparently caused by this goddamn mold, Strasburg declined to take the mound for Game 4 when the Nationals so desperately need him to keep their season alive. As a result, manager Dusty Baker said he will instead start Tanner Roark (4.67 ERA in the regular season).
Whoa. Dusty says Tanner Roark will start tomorrow, not Stephen Strasburg, who could've pitched on regular rest. Stras "under the weather."
— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) October 10, 2017
According to Baker, Strasburg isn’t the only Nationals player “under the weather”. If Strasburg feels so sick he can’t take the mound, then it doesn’t sounds promising for the rest of the roster.
Dusty says a lot of the Nats under the weather. Cites a.c. In hotels and mold in Chicago. "I think it's mold."#Mold
— Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) October 10, 2017
Baker: "Alot of my team is under the weather with the change of weather, A/C, hotel…this is the time of year for mold around Chicago". pic.twitter.com/3dalgrTwLW
— Erin Hawksworth (@ABC7Erin) October 10, 2017
You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
Baker said Strasburg is scheduled to start Game 5 if the Nationals are fortunate enough to extend the series. And who knows, maybe Strasburg will make an appearance via the bullpen if the trend of putting “starters” in the middle of playoff games continues. Though it would then seem pretty dumb to not have just started him in the first place.
Roark, who apparently is immune to mold, will face off against Jake Arrieta in hopes of tying the series at 2 games a piece.
The game, which I’m declaring the #MoldBowl, will take place Wednesday at 4:08pm ET.