Stephen Strasburg left today’s game after 4 innings with back tightness and headed to the trainer’s room. Strasburg had been the Nationals 2nd half Ace of Aces this season, and in fact had not allowed more than 2 runs in any start since May 23rd. Strasburg led the Nats coming into today for the 2nd half with a 1.73 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 10.67 : 1
Matt Williams in his post-game report discussed Strasburg’s injury, “He had some discomfort in his upper back, so it was a little bit of a recurrence of earlier in the year. The velocity came down today, so we got him out of there. He certainly had more pitching to do, but the last thing we want to do is change mechanics. We can’t go there.”
What we will have to wonder about for the next 4 days is whether or not Strasburg will be able to make his next start, and if he does if he will be effective. Strasburg admitted that in his last start he started feeling some back pain and the training staff did a great job of getting him right. He’s already been on the DL this season for this same back injury as well as gutting through poor starts.
With the inconsistencies in the 2nd half with Gio and Scherzer, it’s been Strasburg who has been the model of 2nd half consistency.
Strasburg after the game talked to the media, “I think it’s something I’m going to have to grind through and get through the year, and then figure out exactly what it is in the off-season”.
Earlier this week, ESPN ran this analysis on Strasburg:
Bottom line as we have stressed recently is the Nats will only go as far as their 5 starters take them.