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Associated Press

Nats just weren't Braves enough

Psst. Hey, Washington Nationals. Here's what you should have done with Stephen Strasburg.

Instead, the Nats will be putting him in mothballs Sept. 12, or just about the time he'd actually start doing what the Nats are paying him huge dollars to do -- i.e., get them to the World Series. Don't even attempt to ask why they're doing this. There's no answer that even remotely makes sense; something about saving him for some as-yet-undetermined future that may or may not ever come.

Striking while the iron is hot, clearly, is not an axiom that gets bandied about a lot in the Nats' offices.

It might, however, in the offices of the Atlanta Braves, who, faced with a similar scenario with Kris Medlen, did what the Nationals failed to do: Anticipate.

With Medlen coming off elbow surgery, they stuck him the bullpen at the start of the season, thereby limiting his innings. Now he's 7-1, has won six in a row, and -- more importantly -- has plenty of innings left to give to the Braves in the playoffs.

Smart. Very smart.

Ben Smith's blog.