At the risk of this blog becoming all Stephen Strasburg, all the time, I wanted to pass along some quotes from Davey Johnson which set a bit of a rough timetable for when the Nationals might shut down their ace right-hander.
Because of off-days down the stretch, Johnson said that the Nationals will only need an extra starter (we're talking about you, John Lannan) for two or, at most, three starts once Strasburg is shut down.
Knowing that, we can map out Strasburg's next few starts and take an educated guess that his last outing will likely come on Sept. 19.
If Strasburg averages six innings per start, as he has lately, he would have thrown 175 1/3 innings after a projected start on Sept. 12. That would leave Lannan to make starts on Sept. 24 and Sept. 29.
Obviously, rain or other schedule changes could adjust that, but the above outline is my best guess right now.
Johnson said that he's met with GM Mike Rizzo to discuss the Strasburg topic, and they have at least some idea of when he'll make his last appearance of the 2012 season.
"Roughly, but it depends on how many innings I let him pitch leading up to it," Johnson said. "He's been averaging right around six innings. You guys should be able to do the math on that. I don't think the innings number is cut in stone. The science is not that exact. There's a little leeway there. But that's down the road."
Johnson said the Nats will inform Strasburg of their plan for him before his final start. That way, he won't come off the mound, shake Johnson and Rizzo's hands, and find out he's pitched his last game of the year.
Meanwhile, it was absolutely pouring here at Nats Park for a while, but the rain has finally stopped, the tarp has been taken off the field and the grounds crew is working on getting things back in playing shape.
They've announced that there will be a delay to start tonight's game, but it likely won't be a lengthy one. Still, it's the fourth straight day that we've had a delay of some kind.
I'll keep you posted.
Update: They've announced an estimated start time of 7:30 p.m. I'll take it.
Update II: After a 29-minute delay, we're underway. Please, no more rain tonight. Pretty please.