Aug 18, 2011, 12:27 AM EDT
Updated at 10:58 p.m.
HAGERSTOWN — Stephen Strasburg has known all along his return from Tommy John surgery wouldn’t be without any bumps in the road, despite what all evidence to this point suggested.
So when it actually happened Wednesday night while wearing a Hagerstown Suns uniform, Strasburg wasn’t so much upset as he was relieved to get this out of the way now.
Relieved? After getting roughed up for five runs in only 1 2/3 innings by the low-Class A Lexington Legends?
“Sometimes it’s good to have games like this,” Strasburg said. “Because you need to get knocked around a little bit to see what you’re doing wrong. I think I learned a lot from this outing.”
Then he smiled. Stephen Strasburg. After probably the worst outing of his professional career.
Clearly, these rehab starts are about more than his final pitching line, though that was by no means pretty: 1 2/3 innings, four hits, five runs, two walks, three strikeouts.
The Nationals had penciled Strasburg in for three innings and 50 pitches. But by the time he recorded his fifth out of the night, his pitch count already stood at 49. So Hagerstown manager Brian Daubach
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