Stephen Strasburg is BACK! | Sports
UPDATE 8:50 p.m., ET: Stephen Strasburg sparkled on a dreary night in D.C., pitching five innings of two-hit shutout ball in his return to major league action Tuesday.
Working against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his first big league start since elbow surgery last Sept. 3, Strasburg was in complete control. Of his 17 first pitches, 14 were strikes. Overall, he threw 40 of 56 pitches for strikes, striking out four without issuing a walk.
The 23-year-old right-hander left the game with a 3-0 lead, positioned to pick up his sixth major league victory for the Washington Nationals.
Doug Slaten reliever Strasburg to start the sixth inning.
UPDATE 8:27 p.m.: It appears that Stephen Strasburg will get a chance to register his sixth major league victory Tuesday night. Strasburg has required just 48 pitches to throw four shutout innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his first appearance since Tommy John surgery last Sept. 3.
Strasburg has permitted two hits and struck out four. He fanned Andre Ethier for a second time to end the fourth inning.
Washington manager Davey Johnson said before the game that he planned to limit Strasburg to a maximum of 70 pitches. He suggested that four innings might be all he would get from his right-hander, but Strasburg’s economy of pitches and the Nationals’ 3-0 lead have him poised to get the win.
Strasburg went 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts as a rookie in 2010. He averaged 1.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
UPDATE 8:09 pm., ET: Throwing 24 of 35 pitches for strikes, Stephen Strasburg has pitched three shutout innings in his return to the major leagues.
Strasburg has retired all nine batters he’s faced since the Dodgers’ Dee Gordon led off the first inning with a double. Strasburg has a 3-0 lead and could be in position to win the game if he pitches at least five innings for the Nationals.
UPDATE 7:59 p.m., ET: Stephen Strasburg demonstrated skills beyond pitching ability in the second inning, dropping a well-executed sacrfice bunt and eventually scoring after a throwing error as his Washington Nationals took a 3-0 lead against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson hoped Strasburg would pitch four innings and throw close to 70 pitches in his first major league action since Tommy John surgery. The right-hander took the mound for the top of the third needing just 23 pitches to get through his first two innings.
UPDATE 7:45 p.m. ET: Stephen Strasburg retired the side in order in his second inning, getting Andre Ethier to chase a third strike in the dirt, then blowing a 99 mph fastball past Aaron Miles for strike three.
Strasburg certainly showed no ill effects from a long bottom of the first when the Nationals loaded the bases but came up empty against Dodgers starter Ted Lilly.
Strasburg has required 23 pitches to sail through his first two innings. Lilly got all three of his outs on strikeouts but needed 32 pitches to get through his first inning.
Incredibly, despite all forecasts and weather accounts, the game between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers at Nationals Park began exactly on time and throwing the first pitch was projected starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg. It has been over 368 days since Nationals fans last saw Strasburg at Nationals Park doing what he does best and he did not fail to disappoint in the first inning back in the Majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Strasburg pitched the start of the game and gave up only one hit, a lead off double to L.A.’s Dee Gordon, but that is all the young and recovered phenom would give the Blue Boys in the first half of the inning which ended in a 0-0 score.
No. 37′s first pitch was a 96 mph fastball that was fouled off for a strike. He threw a total of 11 pitches, seven for strikes. He stayed around 96 mph majority of the time topping out at 97 mph and throwing a nice 80 mph curveball. After the Gordon double he got James Loney to fly out to center, Matt Kemp to ground out and Juan Rivera to fly out to right.
Perhaps it is the weather, the jitters or just a little rust, but he seemed a little dialed down. That will no doubt change the more work he is given. Strasburg is expected to throw 60 pitches Tuesday night.