Major League Baseball
Braves-Nationals preview
Major League Baseball

Braves-Nationals preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 1:42 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON -- Several times over the past few years, TBA in the press notes of the Washington Nationals stood for Stephen James Strasburg.

That was the case again Tuesday, as the probable pitcher for the first-place Nationals on Wednesday was listed as TBA.

That turns out to be Strasburg, whom manager Dusty Baker confirmed after Tuesday's game will start against the Atlanta Braves in the third and last game of the series at Nationals Park on Wednesday.

"Hopefully Stras can give us some quality innings," said Baker, whose team clinched a .500 season with a 9-7 win on Tuesday.


Strasburg has been on the disabled list since Aug. 22, retroactive to Aug. 21, with right elbow soreness. He is 15-4 with a 3.59 ERA in 23 starts this year for the Nationals.

Strasburg threw from the flat ground in the outfield before Tuesday's game. He gives the first-place Nationals a formidable rotation, for a possible playoff appearance, with Max Scherzer and Tanner Roark.

"He is one of our big three," Baker said of Strasburg. "He was having a great year. He still has the opportunity to finish a great year."

Baker said Strasburg has come out of recent side sessions with no soreness, though it can be tough to ascertain that. "He is a tough read," Baker said of the quiet Strasburg.

While the Braves were officially eliminated from the playoffs Monday, interim manager Brian Snitker has been pleased with his team's approach.

"Our guys grind out at-bats and grind out games," he said after Tuesday' loss. "They don't give up many at-bats."

Another Washington starter who has been on the disabled list this year is Joe Ross, another right-hander.

A California native like Strasburg, Ross pitched three innings in a minor league rehab appearance for Triple-A Syracuse on Monday. "We would like to get him stretched out," Baker said of Ross.

The manager said it is possible Ross, who made his big league debut in June 2015, could pitch in a simulated game at some point.

The Atlanta pitcher on Wednesday with be Mike Foltynewicz, who is 8-5 with a 4.31 ERA this season. The right-hander has faced Washington once, going 5 2/3 innings at Nationals Park on Aug. 12, 2016.

He will have to deal with Trea Turner, who continues to be a revelation at the top of the order for Baker.

Turner had three hits Monday and on Tuesday he had two more hits, including a two-run single in the eighth.

"My job is to get on base and put pressure on the other team," Turner said.

He is now hitting .344 and has seen time at second base and center field.

Baker said he won't use closer Mark Melancon after he pitched for the second day in row Tuesday.

"We wonder about (workload) on everybody," Baker said. "This is the time of year when you worry about workload. You weigh workload with the necessity to win the games. We'll probably -- not probably -- we'll stay away from Melancon tomorrow. We really didn't want to use him today because he hasn't been as sharp the last couple days. But these guys, everybody has a nemesis, and these guys have been his nemesis since he's been here. So like I said, we will stay away from him tomorrow."


Get more from Major League Baseball Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more