Stephen Strasburg is set to start Wednesday's elimination game for the Washington Nationals, one night after the Nationals offered vague — and in one case inaccurate — explanations as to why he would not start.
Scott Boras, the agent for Strasburg, told The Times on Wednesday morning that Strasburg had "flulike symptoms" Tuesday. He said the Nationals would make the final call Wednesday "after they evaluate his health."
The Nationals announced Wednesday that they were going with Strasburg.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker had said Tuesday that Strasburg was "under the weather" and made a reference to "mold" in Chicago. Baker also said Strasburg would not be available and Tanner Roark would start.
Because the Nationals did not make Strasburg available Tuesday and did not otherwise publicly clarify the situation, the illness prompted national speculation about whether Strasburg might not have been willing to pitch — even with the season on the line — if he felt less than 100%.
Strasburg, after all, was well enough to be at the ballpark Monday and Tuesday, throwing a bullpen session Monday and playing catch Tuesday.
"If I'm his teammate," ESPN analyst and former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross said, "and I walk in the clubhouse the next day, I can't make eye contact with this dude. This is as bad as it gets for me as a teammate."
Baker and Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo are expected to discuss the situation later Wednesday.