HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg had another positive rehab start for the Hagerstown Suns, improving on last Wednesday’s outing, pitching three innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six.
Strasburg hit 98 mph and was sitting at 95-97 mph during his 60 pitch/40 strike performance.
“It felt pretty good,” Strasburg said. “I am still having the adrenalin in the first inning. I guess that is to be expected with only four starts in about a year. I just got to work on trying to relax and control it a little bit better. I was able to make some adjustments after that.”
The start was good enough to expect Strasburg to advance to Triple-A Syracuse Saturday, for a likely next step of five innings and/or 80 pitches.
His final line was three innings, two hits, two runs, one earned run, one walk, six strikeouts and one hit batter. Once he got to 60 pitches, they decided to not to send him out for the fourth frame.
The Hickory hitters were more patient with Strasburg’s stuff, going deeper in counts then Lexington’s bats did last Wednesday. The Legends were more antsy, going after Strasburg’s first offering almost every at-bat. He allowed five runs in 1 2/3 innings against Lexington.
This presented a new challenge for Strasburg and will help him adapt to each game strategy, more similar to what you would expect to see from top prospects down the line and then in the major leagues.
It was a big night for Strasburg as several of the Nationals’ front office executives were in attendance, including general manager Mike Rizzo, director of player development Doug Harris and principal owner Mark Lerner.