The most perfectly, awfully-timed storm ever has bagged today’s attempted Game Four of the NLDS, in which the Cubs were to face Nationals righty Tanner Roark and attempt to clinch the series with Jake Arrieta on the mound.
Now the game will be moved to tomorrow at 3:08 pm CT.
Presumably, the Nationals will now shift off of Roark for Game Four and instead start Stephen Strasburg on normal rest. Then they can also move up Gio Gonzalez to start Game Five on normal rest. The Cubs, by contrast, figure to go with their same expected duo of Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks. The Cubs can beat Strasburg and/or Gonzalez, of course, but let’s not kid ourselves: this postponement was a huge boon to the Nationals.
In retrospect, since MLB was already last night positioning today’s game to try to avoid the weather, they probably should have given themselves more of a buffer. The light rain didn’t start until 5 pm, so if the game had started at, say, 1 or 2 pm, there probably would have been no issue. I know weather is only so predictable. But a buffer. That’s all I’m saying.
UPDATE: Um. Wut:
Dusty Baker sticking with Tanner Roark for game 4 tomorrow at 3:08.
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) October 10, 2017
Stephen Strasburg is feeling under the weather so the Nationals will hold him back for a potential Game 5. Dusty… https://t.co/KOtTe358xo
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) October 10, 2017