WASHINGTON — The bad news is that both Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg and reliever Enny Romero were pulled from Sunday’s game with injuries. The good news is that both were optimistic in the aftermath.
“I think it’s something I can work through,” Strasburg told the media after the game. “I think that’s kind of why I just feel like this was a good decision today. Not let it get any worse, address it and clear it out in time for my next spot in the rotation.”
Strasburg finished the day with 51 pitches over two innings, was unusually erratic, and was lifted for precautionary reasons on what he described as achiness in the forearm.
“I think I wake up in the morning, it’s a little stiff,” he said. “Then I get throwing and stuff, and it feels OK. And then it’s like I really kind of reach back for it, and that’s where it starts to linger and start to feel a little achy.”
That’s very troubling news, particularly given his history with arm injuries. Just last week, he was confident enough in his health and delivery to consider returning to the windup after starting the season pitching exclusively out of the stretch.
Now, he’ll just be happy to make his next start pain-free.
“I’ve had so much stuff happen,” he said, referencing his well-documented battled with injuries. “Just trying not to be selfish out there. I’m not really helping the team if I’m going out there and continually throwing through these things. I just want to be there at the end.
“That’s like the ultimate goal this year. And if getting pulled after a couple innings today, if that’s going to put me in a better position to be there, I’ll take it.”
From here, the plan of action is to have him checked out by team doctors after the team returns from its West Coast trip. The club has an off-day on Monday, and the hope is to have a game plan once Baker talks with the media again on Tuesday.
Romero’s situation seems to be actually precautionary, as he was lifted from the game after experiencing tightness in his back.
“I feel better now, but when I was throwing to Goldschmidt, the last few pitches, my back tightened up a little bit,” Romero said through his interpreter. “Especially the last two, I really felt it. I just felt like I couldn’t continue, so I decided not to.
“I think maybe rest tomorrow, and I want to see Tuesday. I want to throw first, and talk to them.”
At this point, it will be a very high-tension off day for the Nats pitching staff.