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To recant on that decision because of where the team sits in the standings would be irresponsible and disingenuous.

Zimmermann didn’t enjoy being shut down. He didn’t enjoy the monotony, and he certainly didn’t enjoy watching his team take the field every night without him. But he has a 2.92 ERA in 83 1/3 healthy innings this season and is expected to be a horse in the rotation for years to come.

Strasburg, who starts Wednesday against Tampa Bay, might not like it either. The baseball world might not like it. His teammates might not like it, knowing they’ll be without their ace as they make a playoff push. But without his innings now, they might not be in that position at all. And ignoring what’s best for his health, for the long-term, just isn’t feasible.

“Hopefully, when we get to where we want to be, somehow I’m a part of it still,” Strasburg said. “But I can’t really worry about that right now. We’ve still got a long ways to go.”