Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Stephen Strasburg Shutdown Is In Full Effect

 Stephen Strasburg may look like a "Lord of the Rings" extra, but his shutdown could have an impact on whether or not his teammates will get rings of their own come late October.

According to various media outlets, Nationals manager Davey Johnson has informed Stephen Strasburg that his season has come to an end before reaching his team-imposed innings limit.  Strasburg will not be making his scheduled start against the Mets' Matt Harvey at Citi Field on Wednesday as previously expected.

The decision comes on the heels of Strasburg's poor performance against the last-place Marlins on Friday night, in which he allowed five runs on six hits and three walks in a 67-pitch, three-inning effort.

Johnson claimed that Strasburg "didn't have his head in the game" and thinks that his young pitcher "is thinking too much about the decision when (the team is) going to shut him down".

Strasburg finished his first full season in the majors with a 15-6 record, 3.16 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 159⅓ innings.  Six-year veteran John Lannan will take Strasburg's spot in the Nationals' rotation and will start against Harvey on Wednesday.

The Nationals have not yet wrapped up their first National League East title.  With their defeat to the Marlins, and the Braves' 3-0 victory over the Mets, Washington's division lead dropped to 6½ games over Atlanta.  They will now have to hold off the Braves without the help of Stephen Strasburg.

They said they were going to do it.  We said we'd wait and see.  It looks like they weren't kidding.  The Stephen Strasburg shutdown is in full effect in Washington.  The hunt for the pennant just got a little more interesting in the nation's capital.

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