Stephen Strasburg has been dominant for the Washington Nationals this year. His 0.86 ERA after the All-Star break was the second-best in MLB history. In Game 1 of the National League Division Series, Strasburg made Chicago Cubs hitters look silly. He went seven innings and only allowed three hits with no earned runs allowed and 10 strikeouts. Washington lost that game 3-0 though.

The Nationals also lost Game 3 on Monday by a score of 2-1. With Game 4 being postponed until Wednesday, it was widely assumed that Strasburg would be inserted as the starting pitcher being it would be on normal rest.

Except that is not going to happen. Nationals manager Dusty Baker has announced that Tanner Roark will remain as the Game 4 starter. Strasburg is said to be under the weather, so he will have to watch away from the action and hope that the series can be extended to a pivotal Game 5.

Washington's lack of playoff success

If we include the Montreal Expos in the Nationals team history as well, it is completely mortifying to see how much lack of postseason success this franchise has seen.

The Expos were in existence from 1969-2004. In 36 seasons, they made the playoffs one time. They lost in the National League Championship Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers three games to two in a strike-shortened 1981 season.

They did defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Division Series, though, giving them a grand total of one playoff series win in their history.

The Nationals have experienced plenty of regular season success. They have won the National League East four times in six seasons. Their first three National League East titles saw them lose in the National League Division Series each time, and this postseason they are one loss away from receiving the same fortune.

Tanner Roark

It is up to Roark to help reverse the trend and keep hope alive that the Nationals can finally win their first playoff series in their 13th year of existence.

The 31-year-old was an excellent pitcher for Washington in 2014 and 2016 but not so much this season. He appeared in 32 games (30 starts) and finished with a 13-11 record and a 4.67 ERA.

He had a 1.34 WHIP and struck out 166 batters in 181 1/3 innings of work.

Roark faced the Cubs just once this season, a game in which he received the win. On August 4, he went 6 1/3 innings, giving up five hits, three walks, and two runs while striking out four.

He pitched out of the bullpen in two games in the National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants giving up one run in 2 2/3 innings. Roark's one career playoff start came in last year's National League Division Series against the Dodgers. He went just 4 1/3 innings giving up seven hits, three walks, and two runs while striking out only one.

It is obvious that Nationals fans would much rather see Strasburg pitch a do-or-die Game 4 than Roark. In the meantime, they have to just hope Roark pitches well enough to extend the series to a Game 5.