Article

Baker not surprised by Strasburg´s dominance for Nats

12 October 2017 05:42

Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker said he had full confidence in starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg following his dominant display in the shutout of reigning MLB World Series champions the Chicago Cubs.

Strasburg tossed seven scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts to lead the Nationals to a 5-0 road victory in game four of the National League Division Series on Wednesday.

A steady downpour lined Chicago's grey skies on Tuesday, forcing game four of the NLDS to move to Wednesday. The wet conditions may not have helped Strasburg's health — he was apparently under the weather — but the one-day delay allowed him to start instead of Tanner Roark.

"I could see the focus and determination in his eyes when he came in the office and we talked to him," Baker said after the game. "He's a man of few words, but the words he said, gave us every indication that he was ready."

"He had everything working tonight," Baker added. "He had a great change-up. His fastball is always good, good slider; and like I said, he looked very, very determined. The only time I asked him anything was at the end of the seventh because he had 105 pitches.

"I knew he was running out of gas because he's been — he's been sick. But fortunately for us, it was a cool night for him."

Baker was tight-lipped on who would start game five. However, he did say Gio Gonzalez and Roark could both be featured in the must-win game.

"We're not sure yet [who will start]," Baker said. "We're going to make up our mind, see the condition of everybody and like I said, I'm not sure. I'm not trying to be coy at all because that was the theme of the day, you know, with Stras.

"Whoever it is, I hope they pitch like Stras did today."

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