Washington Nationals: NLDS Game 4 a must win

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Unless your name is Max Scherzer, you are available to pitch out of the Washington bullpen.

The leash on Roark is shorter than a puppy visiting a dog park the first time. Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg join the rest of the crew as the Nats fight for another game.

For reasons only known to Dusty Baker and the coaching staff, we have yet to see the vaunted bench play a major role outside of Adam Lind’s leadoff hit in the eighth inning of Game 2. Another struggle fest by Trea Turner needs a quick hook. Today requires playing chess at a master level.

If Washington makes it to Los Angeles, then the trust system Baker loves can go back into place. Game 4 is about results. If a starter cannot do the job, find someone who can. West Palm Beach is a long ways away, but a loss means that is the next game.

You saw the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox use Justin Verlander and Chris Sale in Game 4 of their American League Divisional Series. If Joe Maddon thinks Kyle Hendricks or Jon Lester closes the door on Washington, then they will pitch.

Few in the game play virtual chess as well as Maddon. Wrapping this up at Wrigley is a priority for the Cubs.