Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg was removed from the game against the Atlanta Braves after the second inning with an apparent injury, though no official statement on his condition has yet been made.
Manager Davey Johnson and Strasburg had an emphatic exchange in the dugout during the top of the third inning, but despite Strasburg’s evident frustration at the situation, Craig Stammen was called on to replace him in the third inning.
Strasburg threw 37 pitches, and started out the game with a 1-2-3 first inning. He gave up two hits, one a solo home run to Freddie Freeman, and struck out two batters.
The Nats Blog will update this story as more information becomes available.
Update #1: Update #1: Strasburg left the game due to muscular discomfort in his back, not his arm, as reported by Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. An arm injury has the potential to be more serious than a back injury, so all things considered, this is an encouraging development to the story for the Nationals.
Update #2: In the postgame press conference, Johnson said that Strasburg had been having pain in his right oblique, a situation similar to Ross Detwiler’s injury that landed him on the 15-day DL.
Strasburg had noticed the discomfort before the game, but was hoping as he progressed through his start his muscles would loosen up and the pain would disperse. However, when Johnson saw how much Strasburg was wincing during the second inning, he made the decision to pull him from the game to eliminate the possibility of his injuring himself further by putting extra stress on his arm from compensating for the pain in his side.
Johnson said Strasburg would fly back to D.C. to be evaluated by team doctors. Though he will wait for their assessment, Johnson did not anticipate having to make a roster move because the Nationals have an off day on Monday.