WASHINGTON — Yikes. Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg lost control of his command in the second inning of Sunday’s game vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks, walking the eighth and ninth batters in the D-Backs lineup.
Then, after 51 pitches, he was mysteriously pulled from the game.
It was a frustrating performance for Strasburg, who threw just 29 of 51 pitches (57 percent) for strikes, his lowest in a game since May 29, 2015, when he converted just 50 percent. He pitched just one inning in that game vs. the Cincinnati Reds and went on the disabled list for nearly one month.
The Nats do not comment on injuries during the course of a game, so speculation ran wild during the latter seven innings of the game. Here are a few speculative theories:
Strasburg wasn’t the only National injured today, as reliever Enny Romero was also injured, and left the game in the seventh inning. Catcher Jose Lobaton was also injured with what was believed to be a leg cramp but did not leave the game.
After the game, Dusty Baker gave the following updates on injuries, starting with Strasburg:
- “We think he’s OK.” Baker said that Strasburg had trouble getting loose today and that he was removed from the game as a precaution against injury caused by stiffness. He wouldn’t even commit to the idea that Strasburg would need tests, but did say that team doctors would check him after the team returned to D.C.
- Meanwhile, Romero had a back spasm and was removed from the game. No word on if he would be placed on the disabled list.
- If Strasburg or Romero needs time on the disabled list, they will join a very talented crew of Adam Eaton, Jayson Werth, Shawn Kelley, Koda Glover, Trea Turner, Michael A. Taylor, Joe Ross and Chris Heisey.
It was a bad day for aces, as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw also left his start vs. the Atlanta Braves in the second inning:
This is certain to affect the market for starting pitching, as the Nationals have already been linked to the Oakland A’s’ Sonny Gray, and the Dodgers have been linked to the Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish.