Skip to content

Strasburg pulled with forearm strain

Aug 22, 2010, 12:49 AM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg winces after throwing his 56th pitch of the night.

Read the full story with reaction and quotes on

PHILADELPHIA โ€” Stephen Strasburg was pulled from tonight's game after wincing in pain upon throwing a fifth-inning changeup to Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown.

Strasburg immediately looked down at his right arm and then shook it around after throwing his 56th pitch of the night. After a few seconds, Ivan Rodriguez joined him at the mound, followed immediately by manager Jim Riggleman, pitching coach Steve McCatty and trainer Lee Kuntz.

Despite pleas from Strasburg to remain in the game, Riggleman wouldn't listen to his rookie pitcher. Strasburg departed with a disgusted look on his face, replaced by Craig Stammen with the Nationals leading 5-1.

Strasburg had dominated to that point, allowing just one run on two hits, striking out six and not issuing a walk against a potent Phillies lineup.

Updates to come…

UPDATE AT 9:33 P.M. — Doesn't sound like we're going to get an update on Strasburg's injury (not even what body part was injured) until after the game.

UPDATE AT 10:13 P.M. — The game is over, and the Nationals have won, 8-1. Because Strasburg didn't go the required five innings, he couldn't be credited with the win. So the official scorer has awarded that to Doug Slaten, who retired all five batters he faced. Will updateRead more ยป

  1. Nervous Nats Fan - Aug 22, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    This is terrible. My evening was so nice, and then this…In other news, nice shot of it, Mark.

  2. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    Hoping it's only ulnar irritation.

  3. Beltwayboy7 - Aug 22, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    I understand the teams thinking on not burning him out and over using him, but at some point the kid gloves must come off. If the kid wanted to continue then let him!

  4. rmoore446 - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:01 AM

    That is a great photo Mark. You really caught the grimace.Glad Riggleman shut him down immediately.

  5. Beltwayboy7 - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    They are treating him as if he is so fragile, it is really starting to piss him off I think!

  6. James - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    If you wince from the pitch like that, you should be taken out of the game to be safe, especially with him. Leaving him in just because he wants to be is a great way to risk a more severe injury if he doesn't already have one. Letting him keep going would probably happen if Dusty Baker was the manager, though.

  7. Everett W. - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:03 AM

    Having seen the replay, continuing him in the game couldn't possibly be done. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Nats shut Strasburg down for the year just to give themselves some time to sort this out.

  8. Jay Reeder - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    At least he wanted to stay in the game. We can only hope its nothing serious. Worse case, tommy john…seems like everyone recovers the same or better after that…

  9. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    Bite your tongue Jay Reede. Tommy john is 12 months recovery.And for god's sake shut him down. This is the franchise you are talking about; you want to risk him in a meaningless August and September?

  10. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:12 AM

    Terrific photo, Mark. If this writing thing doesn't work out for you, there's a spot for you on any photo desk of any major daily newspaper … oh, wait, never mind.Really great timing on that photo. Seriously good.

  11. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    It is the curse of les boulez

  12. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    if he wanted to stay in, how bad could it be?

  13. LoveDaNats - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:22 AM

    He's just being macho. I hope he doesn't turn out to be a fragile pitcher.

  14. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:25 AM

    My bet is its just vaginitis

  15. A DC Wonk - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:26 AM

    at some point the kid gloves must come off.Yeah, maybe, but not this year — he's still a rookie. (Look up Kerry Wood; look up half the pitchers on the Marlins from a few years back; etc etc))

  16. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    Just hope it's not a shoulder injury.

  17. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:43 AM

    It was on a circle-change so a pitch with a somewhat-hard grip and lots of spin. It could be anything, from thumb to elbow, from tendons to just a forearm muscle pull – or a cramp.

  18. Section 222 - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:47 AM

    Makes no sense to talk about shutting him down for the year without having any idea what the problem is. People said that after the Miss Iowa night too. But Strasburg needs to pitch to build up arm strength and get to the point where he can throw 200 innings in a year. Give him another week (or 15 days) off if you must. Shut him down if he's really hurt. If he's not, let him pitch. And you don't have to make that decision until after you see how he feels tomorrow and after his bullpen session.

  19. greg - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    if he's truly hurt, shut him down.if it was just something minor that isn't anything serious, don't shut him down just to be paranoid.i'm fine with the decision to take him out tonight. there's just no need to risk anything for an extra inning or two tonight. but let's not get over-the-top paranoid about anything that looks like it might be something. let the medical staff figure it out.

  20. bluejeener - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:03 AM

    I thought the word has been what great and sound mechanics he has, but if he got hurt throwing a pitch then what can the future hold, really?great to see the bats alive against philthy

  21. A DC Wonk - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    but if he got hurt throwing a pitch then what can the future holdA bit premature to figure that out. Clemens looked like a bust his first year (or two) b/c of injury, and ended up with quite a career (even if you don't count the steroid years)

  22. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    section 222,this business with arm strength pales in comparison to any risk. he is about 25 innings shy of the 160 inning target. that number is not magic. its arbitrary.

  23. JaneB - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    Will someone here,who follows Mark on Twitter, please update the rest of us?There is a doctor in Boston — a for real, Harvard based doctor and Sox fan — who has data on how fan intention can change games but more importantly how it can impact individual players. And it's solid data. Check out for more information. I know him and he's for real. ANYWAY, let's send positive intention for his swift and graceful healing, rather than getting sly gummed up about is he shut down for the season, etc.

  24. LoveDaNats - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:32 AM

    Strain of flexor tendon in forearm. MRI tomorrow.

  25. NG - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:33 AM

    Reported as a strained flexor tendon in forearm. MRI tomorrow in DC. Potentially same injury Lannan had earlier in year.

  26. Knoxville Nat - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:34 AM

    I wish someone would tell Rob Dibble and the guy in the MASN studio post game show that Jim Riggleman never managed Mark Prior when he was with the Cubs. I am so darn sick and tired of the misrepresenation of the facts when it comes from people who should know better in regards to Rigg's managerial career, especially when it comes to the saga of Mark Prior.

  27. rmoore446 - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:36 AM

    JaneB, FWIW,I clicked on the link @MarkZuckerman given by Mark above and the last twitter was "Strasburg flexor tendon in forearm strain. MRI tomorrow."

  28. 1982 Topps blog - My 1st Cards - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:39 AM

    Wow, that does NOT look good at all. Hope he's not becoming "the next Mark Prior"

  29. JayB - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:39 AM

    Man Rizzo and Riggs looked like they were on the front lines of WW I for weeks….shell shocked hollow look in there eyes…..This is what happens when you put ALL you eggs in one basket. If SS is hurt they have nothing to fall back on. Hope they learn their lesson from this….Build the MLB team so not everything falls on a 22 year old with 150 Innings limit.

  30. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:50 AM

    Shut him down now!!!

  31. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Aug 22, 2010 at 3:18 AM

    @JayB:Rizzo and Riggs haven't put all their eggs in the Jesus basket. After all, they've got Jason Marquis in reserve.Oh, come to think of it, that is exactly why they looked like survivors of Flanders Fields after this game.

  32. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 4:02 AM

    Frustrating but not that big of a deal? Shut him down and build him up for next year. Crazy overreactions all around. JT$

  33. BQ - Aug 22, 2010 at 4:17 AM

    All I am going to do is pray. First for victims of the flood and then for our Strasy. Oh God please be nothing wrong with this young man's arm.

  34. natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Yeah, JayB and Sunshine, 'cause this is so much worse than seeing your buddies blown to bits next to you in the trenches…crickets…Re. the injury, hope that it's not as bad as it looked initially. I'd not be surprised (or disappointed) to see SS shut down for the season regardless of the MRI results. They'll want to protect their investment, and we're not going anywhere. That's two arm issues now; I doubt they'll be inclined to take any chances. Feel better, Stephen.Re. Victorino, I'm not inclined to get spun up about a second-, no, third-party account. Let's wait and see what the docs say. (btw, did Shane ever play one on tv?)

  35. JayB - Aug 22, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    1a….fair point if not a tad to self righteous and dramatized…I have been there so I understand you point…still the looks on those two faces tell a significant tail that is relevant to this franchise. They have chosen a path that has way too much risk associated with it and put on the shoulders of a 22 year old with a 150 innings limit. He is a great asset but due to the Teams "PLAN" and lack of supporting cast….he is all they have.

  36. CapPeterson - Aug 22, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    It's easy to forget because of the Stras injury the great play of Desi and Bernie last night. Against a good club filled with star players like the Phillies, these guys were dominating forces in the game. Desi is doing it all now at bat, in the field, and on the bases. And Rigs is right–Bernie is shaping up as an ideal LF. It's a shame he can't throw or cover ground, and isn't very athletic, but at least he can't hurt us in LF.

  37. JaneB - Aug 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    CapPeterson…. Great points. They were stellar last night. Desi was great and Roger spider man catch alone was worth the price of admission. Made me remember how excited we were when Ryan Z first showed up. String that into a few– or a bunch — more games, and we got ourselves a team that can really compete. Still , I'm adding good vibes toward all so we see Stras healthy and reaching his potential in the perfect timeframe for his body.

  38. natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Yeah, 'cause I'm such a drama queen and all. :-) —1a….fair point if not a tad to self righteous and dramatized…

  39. natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    That said, I agree with your all-the-eggs-in-one basket point.

  40. natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    In other news, injury aside, that was a nice win last night. Also loved when Nyjer deked the Phillies Phans after the final out, pretending he was going to toss the ball to them but then holding on to it. I also have to admit that it was pretty funny for the Phillies to feature Clippard and Burnett on the Kiss Cam (not that there's anything wrong with it). :-)

  41. Dryw - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:19 PM

    natsfan1a, I actually had my friend rewind so that he could see that little tease by Nyjer! It completely made us both laugh. (A lot easier to laugh after an 8-1 win)And aside from the injury, it was truly a nice win. Before the arm went, Stras was pitching as well as I've seen him pitch since his debut. His stuff was wicked last night! Plus all of the other contributions mentioned above…

  42. Bote Man - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    Paging Dr. Andrews. Dr. James Andrews, please pick up the pink courtesy phone in the bullpen.

  43. Big Cat - Aug 22, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    "Heard something pop" Gosh, lets hope that isn't so. He was just effortlessly chewing up the Phillies. Making them look like high schoolers.

  44. Richard - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    There's so much criticism of Riggs on this blog. I was wondering whether I'd see any love for him from the critics here after this game, one that he managed very well, bringing in Slaten at the right moment, for example, or putting together the batting order that's produced 22 hits in 2 games. I'll attribute the absence of love among the critics to the shock of Strasburg's injury and to our foremost concern about his health.Good to see some love for Desmond and Bernadina though. What a spectacular game they had. A pleasure to watch them.

  45. Anonymous - Aug 22, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Richard, People like JayB live for any sign of bad news so they can repeat their garbage. Follow this logic if you will: Your best pitcher; one who most experts feel may be a once in a generation talent is hurt; the team handles this with extreme caution and great concern; and this is a sign of a bad plan. Makes sense JayB.



NEW YORK9072โ€”


As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter