PHILADELPHIA -- Barring an injury or a rain delay, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will start Friday against the Braves and face the Marlins in the last game of the season Wednesday. Catcher Ivan Rodriguez will start in the season finale.
Manager Davey Johnson didn't get much resistance when he spoke to general manager Mike Rizzo about Strasburg pitching in the final game. In fact, Johnson said Rizzo wanted to see Strasburg pitch as well.
As for Rodriguez, he hasn't started since July 4 against the Cubs. He then went on the disabled list because of an oblique injury and wasn't activated until Sept. 3. Since then, Rodriguez has played just two games because Johnson wants his young catchers -- Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores -- to get most of the playing time.
According to Johnson, Rodriguez handled his reserve role with class.
"He has handled it like a pro," Johnson said. "He knows I like to have him around. I like watching him play. I definitely wouldn't call it a benching."