Coffee and Clippings: Strasburg Scratched from Thursday Start

James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) of the Washington Post discusses the Nationals’ decision to sit Stephen Strasburg tonight and start Gio Gonzalez…

Two days after throwing a clean bullpen session, Stephen Strasburg was scratched from his Thursday start as a precaution after he had some trouble getting loose while playing catch on Wednesday, Nationals Manager Davey Johnson said.

Strasburg was also scratched from his last start last Friday because of right forearm tightness he felt the day before when he tried playing catch and toyed with new grips on a pitch. Strasburg will be pushed back to Saturday and Gio Gonzalez will start on Thursday on regular rest.

“In my book, I don’t want to have anything bothering you the day before you pitch,” Johnson said.

Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) of the Dallas Morning News looks at the Rangers’ blown save in their loss to the Rays last night…

One pitch away.

If this is it for the Golden Era of Rangers baseball — if the team misses out on the postseason and if things change dramatically in the off-season then those three words will be the epitaph.

This wasn’t the World Series, but it happened again in a 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday night at a time when the Rangers are fighting and clawing just to hold on to a berth for a one-game play-in date. With an excellent opportunity to put a little space between themselves and the rest of the teams in the wild card race, the Rangers fumbled, bumbled and ultimately lost on Desmond Jennings’ game-ending single.

NY Daily News I-Team covers the Roger Clemens court case and how Andy Pettitte is expected to be deposed…

Roger Clemens is a free man, but his friends, family and even some former flames are still hostages to the wild strategy he launched in 2008 in an effort to smear the former trainer who told Sen. George Mitchell that he had injected the former Yankee star with steroids and human growth hormone.

Attorneys for Brian McNamee — who filed a federal lawsuit against Clemens in New York’s Eastern District in 2009 that claims that the retired pitcher defamed him when he accused the trainer of lying and manufacturing evidence after the seven-time Cy Young Award winner was identified as a steroid user in the Mitchell Report — expect to depose longtime Rocket teammate Andy Pettitte next week.

Tim Britton (@TimBritton) of the Providence Journal talks about the Red Sox’s success and how its not guaranteed to carry over into October…

Wake the echoes, right?

It was mid-August 2004 when the Red Sox turned it on. At 64-52 after a home series loss to the White Sox, Boston went into overdrive the rest of the year, winning 16 of its next 17 games — and 34 of its final 46 — to finish with 98 wins.

It was mid-August this year, after a home series loss to the Yankees, that the Red Sox have again floored the gas pedal. Since that memorable Sunday night loss to New York — Alex Rodriguez was involved — the Sox are 19-7, turning a tight division race into a comfortable September lead. In the process, Boston has won games in diverse ways, showcasing the kind of late-game magic that pushes the word “destiny” into the fore.