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Nationals don't second guess shutting down Stephen Strasburg

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09:01 AM ET 10.13 | Stephen Strasburg moved through the Nationals clubhouse like the rest of his teammates late Friday night, with soft steps and sunken eyes. Unlike most of them, he never set foot on the field in the Nationals' wrenching NLDS loss to the Cardinals. Many fans and observers will live with the gnawing doubt that the series would have been different if Strasburg, the Nationals' ace, had pitched. Instead, General Manager Mike Rizzo decided to shut him down as a measure of protection as he pitched his first full season after Tommy John surgery. Rizzo steeled himself for that and didn't look back, just as at peace with the decision now as he was when he first made it in September 2011. "I'm not going to think about it, no," Rizzo said. "We had a plan in mind. It was something we had from the beginning. I stand by my decision. We'll take the criticism as it comes. We have to do what's best for the Washington Nationals, and we think we did."

Washington Post

Stephen Strasburg, Patrick McDermott/Getty Images Stephen Strasburg, Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
October 13, 2012  09:04 AM ET

Biggest choke job this year......................



Sorry Nats fans..................



I had picked the Nats to advance..........

October 13, 2012  09:14 AM ET

Real simple - you roll your closer out there three consecutive games, you are playing with fire.

Clearly, the Skipper had no Plan B.


But - as I told Chico last night - I genuinely feel for Nats fans. I know how they feel right now.

October 13, 2012  09:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Real simple - you roll your closer out there three consecutive games, you are playing with fire. Clearly, the Skipper had no Plan B. But - as I told Chico last night - I genuinely feel for Nats fans. I know how they feel right now.

Yep...............What Otis said..............

October 13, 2012  09:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Biggest choke job this year......................Sorry Nats fans..................I had picked the Nats to advance..........

Choke is not too harsh. They played really tight with the lead last night from Gio to Espinosa to Desmond to Clippard and Storen (to name a few). It is a young team and I hope they learn from this moving forward and not let it define them.

October 13, 2012  09:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Choke is not too harsh. They played really tight with the lead last night from Gio to Espinosa to Desmond to Clippard and Storen (to name a few). It is a young team and I hope they learn from this moving forward and not let it define them.

Yep................This could crush them unless they are mentally tough...........

October 13, 2012  09:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Real simple - you roll your closer out there three consecutive games, you are playing with fire. Clearly, the Skipper had no Plan B. But - as I told Chico last night - I genuinely feel for Nats fans. I know how they feel right now.

I don't..........I think the DC area fans should have voice outrage on a daily basis to let ownership know how foolish this decision was. I don't care if it was done collectively by ownership/gm/manager, it was foolish and they better have somethin in place better next year or I think the commissioner's office ought to get involve with it. You simply don't cheat you team and most importantly the fans outta your best chance to win a championship by sitting you best pitcher. Fools!

October 13, 2012  09:41 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Yep...............What Otis said..............

ditto....

October 13, 2012  09:43 AM ET

Nationals losing last night had nothing to do with Strasburg. If starting pitching was an issue, then yes, blame management. This was the bullpen, namely the closers.

October 13, 2012  09:44 AM ET

Perhaps the Cards are just the better team. They are now. New season.

Comment #10 has been removed
October 13, 2012  09:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Perhaps the Cards are just the better team. They are now. New season.

They damn sure were last year...




<kicks dog>

Comment #12 has been removed
October 13, 2012  10:07 AM ET

I put this game on the manager. It's an elimination game. You have to play the game like there's no tomorrow. Davey left Gio out there in the fifth like he wanted him to eat innings and save the bullpen. He should have pulled him immediately when he started struggling.

Comment #14 has been removed
October 13, 2012  10:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

You can move them to Washington, but you still can't pull the Expo out of them. A Shame.

Expos were never "one strike away" (unless you count the player's strike). You are in the right neighborhood but I see a different parallel. The loss was excrutiatingly gruesome and their Sox were red. The Curse of the Stras, year one. Only 85 more to go.

Comment #16 has been removed
October 13, 2012  10:12 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

I put this game on the manager. It's an elimination game. You have to play the game like there's no tomorrow. Davey left Gio out there in the fifth like he wanted him to eat innings and save the bullpen. He should have pulled him immediately when he started struggling.

Exactly.

October 13, 2012  10:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

These secondary wild card teams are making winning the division seem quite irrelevant. Why not just add a third upstart wild card team next year and watch them run the table

How is the second wildcard any different than the first one? Why is a wildcard any worse than a team that snuck in by being the best team in a weak division?

October 13, 2012  10:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Exactly.

I also thought he should have pulled Storen in the ninth after the Cards tied it up. The camera cut to him and you could just see the Cards were in his head.

 
Comment #20 has been removed

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