Welp. Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters this morning that Stephen Strasburg’s ballyhooed shutdown begins immediately after last night’s lackluster effort against the Marlins. Which is to say…they’re really doing this, aren’t they?
Davey Johnson made the decision on Strasburg. He believed the media distraction had become too much and affected Strasburg’s performance.
And we’re back. Did you miss me? I missed you, you adorable little anonymous Internet users. Anyway, let’s not waste any time and get right to the quotes.
Today we have Stephen Strasburg getting some rough news, Charlie Manuel getting frustrated and Minnesota getting some recognition.
Everybody knew our pitching was depleted and we were bound for a letdown. I’m not saying we were going to beat Japan. I think they were the best team here at everything by far, pitching, hitting. But I think last night is how we want to be remembered.
Hey, everybody. Take your class cues from everybody involved with the Little League World Series, there are quotes all over this thing. It is the great uniter. It will save us all. It’s not the tournament we need, it’s the tournament we deserve. Uh…other platitudes.
Ken Rosenthal is a very good reporter. He is, without a doubt in my mind, the best that baseball has to offer. He is so good at what he does that he makes reporting on baseball appear effortless, much like the athletes who play the sport which he covers make pitching, batting and fielding look easy to fans.
However, there is a difference between reporting and writing.
In his most recent piece for FOX Sports, Mr. Rosenthal offers a satirical take on the much-discussed innings limit for Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. It’s a fun little article, and most likely not meant for very much of a critical reading. However, it serves a measure of discredit to Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo that I believe to be unfair.
There is about 25 minutes of show before the big reveal: I renounce any affiliation with Strasmas, declaring my dedication to Timmy and the Greater Good. In that 25 minutes, we talk about Big Hirok, the Red Sox drama and Madison Bumgarner. Then, to appease the oft-tortured Red Sox fans, we declare Josh Beckett Not That Good Any More. Cue the bounceback! (FYI, here is a link to the Getting Blanked podcast mentioned in the Beckett segment.)
Wherein the Getting Blanked crew talk about Buster Posey’s recent run of awesomeness, Stephen Strasburg’s reported innings cap, the impending fall of the Pirates, and Manny Machado’s hot start. Punishment is handed down for our most recent instalment of Proposition Hate, and we play Switch Hitter with three great pitching matchups in this week’s Washington/San Franciso series.
Last week, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports revealed to the world that the much-talked-about innings limit imposed by Washington Nationals management on starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg would be around 180 for the year. While that was later dismissed by the Nationals front office, with the aid of a few extra rest days and a six-man rotation in September (thank you John Lannan), such an allowance seemed like a plausible limit.
When the idea of this cautious approach to Strasburg’s work load was first hinted at during the beginning of the year, it was never anticipated that the Nationals would be in a position to make the playoffs, let alone have the best record in baseball in mid-August. And yet, here we are.
So, while an innings limit to protect your best young pitching arm is one thing, an innings limit that might keep your team’s best pitcher, and arguably most valuable player, off the playoff roster is quite another. And yet, according to a source that MLB.com’s Bill Ladson spoke with, the Nationals would not consider bringing Strasburg in to pitch in the postseason after he’s shut down.
The Washington Nationals are one of the best teams in the National League—it’s really the first time they’ve been relevant since moving to the American capital in 2004, and the first time the franchise has been truly relevant since the year that shall not be mentioned by name (except right now for clarity’s sake—1994). Despite this, the Washington’s brass has said all year long that 23-year-old ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg will be shut down at some point before the end of the year to preserve his golden throwing arm.
The number bandied about all season was 160 innings, which seems logical considering other pitchers of that age and professional experience. Of course, most teams with a promising young pitcher near the top of their rotation aren’t contenders and so shutting said pitcher down is entirely without consequence—and the pitchers being shut down are never as good as Strasburg. Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo recently relayed a number of 180 innings to the public and the team appears very serious about continuing with operation shut down.