Reporting Byron Kerr
HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg allowed three runs on four hits in the first inning Wednesday, pitching for the Hagerstown Suns in his third rehab assignment as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
He finished up with 1 2/3 innings, allowing four hits, five runs, all earned, two walks, three strikeouts and one wild pitch on 49 pitches, 29 for strikes.
Strasburg was able to get his velocity in the 96 mph to 99 mph range, which has been a huge stepping stone for him now 11 months since Tommy John surgery.
But Strasburg said he believes this was a good lesson learned.
“Sometimes, it is good to have games like this because you need to get knocked around a little bit to see what you have been doing wrong,” Strasburg said. “I think I learned a lot from this outing. I have some things to work on. It is another step in the road.”
Strasburg said his breaking stuff did not feel right and that is a good thing because at least he knows where to correct the problem. He knows the light at the end of the tunnel is fast approaching, but the value of this rehab starts are showing with every successive game. Wednesday was definitely one of those learning experiences.
“Unfortunately, I got hurt so late last year that I really can’t do much this year,” Strasburg said. “It is not like I am going to win a Cy Young in two weeks pitching in the big leagues. I am just trying to get better and get stronger and just trying to get back the feeling I had before and take that into the off season.”