Strasburg exits early with shoulder irritation
Nationals' righty plans to see chiropractor, hopes to make next start
WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg left Tuesday's game, a 2-1 loss, after working three innings against the Marlins because of a shoulder issue. According to manager Matt Williams, Strasburg has irritation underneath his right shoulder blade, which could be "an alignment issue."
"As [Strasburg] finishes pitches, it grabs him every once in a while. Tonight it got a little bit worse," Williams said. "He said he feels like there is a rib out, like an alignment issue. We didn't want to take a chance and have him change mechanics and hurt something."
It appeared that something was wrong with Strasburg from the outset. In the top of the second, with two outs and the Marlins leading, 2-0, Williams, pitching coach Steve McCatty and athletic trainer Lee Kuntz went to the mound to check on Strasburg. But he stayed in the game until right-hander Doug Fister came in as a pinch-hitter in the third inning. Fister singled to right field in his lone at-bat.
Strasburg has been dealing with the shoulder problem since his outing Thursday against the Mets. But he battled through it, pitching 5 1/3 innings for his second win of the season.
"It's something that's just been lingering, and I just felt it more and more," Strasburg said. "I feel like it was something that I could have got through, but at this point in the season you just want to get it right and not alter your mechanics too much. That's the big thing."
There hasn't been any talk of the disabled list for Strasburg, who plans to see a chiropractor.
"I've done it before," Strasburg said. "I think it's probably just something that for one reason or another it just kind of creeps up in there sometimes. Just got to get it fixed and hopefully get back out there for the next one.
"Like I said, I wasn't feeling it on pitches arm-side. Just kind of when I wanted to get a little extra extension out there was when I started to feel it a little bit."
Left-hander Sammy Solis entered in the fourth inning to relieve Strasburg and turned in three shutout innings.