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Strasburg roughed up in Hagerstown

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?

Well, yes.

“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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  1. Wally - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:48 AM

    So long as he isn't feeling pain, this is absolutely no big deal.

  2. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    Ouch! "The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglay, And leave us naought but grief for promised joy." Robbie Burns

  3. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    But pleasures are like poppies spread, You sieze the flower, its bloom is shed; Or like the snow falls in the river, A moment white–then melts for ever; Or like the borealis race, That flit ere you can point their place; Or like the rainbow's lovely form Evanishing amid the storm.

  4. NatsFanJim - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    What Wally said If he's fine — the world is fine.This is such a funny game. A huge, big league pitcher like Strasberg — on any given day — can be blasted by bush leaguers. Pitching is absolutely the hardest thing to master in all of sports.

  5. JaneB - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:50 AM

    Not only do I love the Nats, I love Nats FANS.

  6. Ex-Jock Cliche-Spouting Color Guy - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    Clearly the league has Strasburg figured out. The question now is whether he can make the adjustment.

  7. Drew8 - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:09 AM

    The big fella will be fine.As for Ian Desmond…..Tonight Desmond officially dropped to 73rd and last in the NL with an OPS of .598.In his honor the stat has been renamed "OOPS."

  8. Scooter - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:20 AM

    The Strasburg said…you need to get knocked around a little bit to see what you're doing wrong.I had actually forgotten how much I love this cat.(And Drew, please stop posting so frequently. At this rate, I'll never catch up to your terrible-joke count.)

  9. JaneB - Aug 18, 2011 at 6:11 AM

    I'm glad I came back to read the updated post. Nice job Mark.And I'm thrilled this guy plays for US.

  10. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    I sat behind home plate at the Suns game last night. The umpire was squeezing the pitchers something terrible. But Stras still got smacked around out there. Not pretty at all.

  11. natsfan1a - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    I'm not a doctor or a pitching coach, but it sounds like such glitches are not necessarily cause for alarm on the road to TJ recovery. I do like the dude's attitude and heady approach. Plus, now the Lexington Legends have a good story for their grandkids. Given his short stint on the bump, I also idly wonder whether all of the fans were in their seats by the time he was out of the game. Hey-oh! :-)

  12. Natslifer - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Mark – I don't mean to be paranoid here but did anyone even ask him if his arm felt ok or is it just assumed? The other thought I had is that in Davey's presser two nights ago he talked about how he wanted SS to make fewer pitches, lower his velocity a bit, and pitch to contact more – maybe this was SS "practicing" the new approach?

  13. natsfan1a - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Future Legends player storytelling scenario:Larry Legend: In the Major League debut of the almighty Stephen Strasburg, he struck out 14 in 7 innings, but the first time he faced me I lit him up like a Christmas tree.Larry's grandkid: Yeah, grandad, but he faced you in low A ball on his third rehab start after TJ surgery. Plus, I heard that the ump was squeezing him.Larry Legend: Who's telling this story, you or me? Now be quiet and eat your ice cream. Ah, those were the days, sonny…

  14. flynnie - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    He pitched to plenty of contact last night.

  15. Doc - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Funny stuff Larry Legend…er, Natsfan!

  16. STRASMAS_WHO_CARES! - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    WOW! Even low A hitters have figured out you can sit on DEAD RED from St. Stephen and hit him around….Kyle Farnsworth 2.0!!!?? Maybe Davey is right, if St. Stephen actually had a breaking pitch that was not faster than most fastballs he could get hitters out, he needs to talk to LIVO! Cueto owned the Nats last night because he was throwing his fastball around 95 and his breaking ball in the low to mid 80s such a differential in speeds messes with a hitters mind, whereas precious SLOTHBURG hovers around 96 with his fastball and 91 on his breaking pitches so it easy to time him.

  17. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    I'm alone in assessing Stasburg in this, but I'm glad this happened. It's a good learning tool and doesn't mean anything to anyone that he didn't pitch a perfect game except Nats fanatics. I would have no problem if he had thrown 49 breaking pitches or 49 fastballs. This is just practice. "We sittin' in here, I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we in here talkin' about practice…We talkin 'bout practice, man." AI

  18. Anonymous - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    ok guys, this guys throws around 100mph with a wicked curve. Also, he throws all strikes. Go up there and get your hacks. Get in the box and look for that first fastball and rip"I know it was you Fredo! You broke my heart!"

  19. Harper_ROY_2012 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    How did I miss this, Davey gave Riz and the Front Office the BIG F U the other day!“I’ll be happy when we get to September,” he said this week. “I’ve never liked the way this roster was constructed."I hope he stays on next year to further clean house.

  20. Big Cat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    I also saw Davey's quote in Boz this morning. Said he needs two long relievers and more bats off bench. He ain't takin any blame is he?

  21. Analytical Nat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    As composed the Nationals have exceeded expectations as far as I am concerned. They have one dominant like pitcher who gets little run support. Two relievers you can count on, and two ML hitters, one of which has missed 50 games. Whoever has managed has really done extremly well with very little.

  22. Analytical Nat - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    comprised > composed

  23. Harper_ROY_2012 - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    @ Analytical Nat – You are correct we are a sad lot when 6 of our 8 batters we put out nightly can hit the ball less than 25% percent of the time. We are so close but yet so far…from .500

  24. Analytical Nat - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Harper_ROY_2012 said…I like to think of the glass as half full. Just don't know if some of the water will flow towards the top or the bottom next season. Can see what I see right now, not the future. I would like to believe the youngsters, Espinosa, Ramos, Desmond, and one veteran, Werth sees better days next season.

  25. Scooter - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Natslifer said…Mark – I don't mean to be paranoid here but did anyone even ask him if his arm felt okAnd thenMike Rizzo said…Dammmit, I knew we forgot something!(Seriously, dude. Come on.)

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