(CBS) As expected, the Nationals will start right-hander Stephen Strasburg in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Cubs on Friday night, manager Dusty Baker told reporters Thursday.
The decision was made as fellow Nationals ace Max Scherzer continues to recover from a hamstring tweak that he suffered last weekend. Scherzer is scheduled to throw a bullpen later Thursday, after which the Nationals will decide to start him in Game 2 on Saturday or Game 3 on Monday at Wrigley Field. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez is expected to start the other game that Scherzer doesn’t.
The 29-year-old Strasburg is a NL Cy Young candidate after a dominant season in which he went 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. He made one start against the Cubs this season and was stellar, picking up the win on June 28 by going seven innings and allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits and one walk while striking out 13.