In the least surprising development since Cheez Whiz on toast tasted good but regretful, Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals is reportedly upset that his season was ended prematurely over the weekend, with manager Davey Johnson deciding that the mentally and physically drained pitcher would be shut down for the season following an uncharacteristically poor outing against the Miami Marlins on Friday evening. The end of the pitcher’s year comes one game earlier than what was originally planned by his team’s general manager Mike Rizzo, who had decided since the beginning of the season to limit the amount of innings Strasburg pitched as a means of protecting his arm as part of his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
Considering the likelihood of the Nationals reaching the post season combined with Strasburg being the team’s best pitcher, it proved to be a largely unpopular decision with many pundits, and ultimately the pitcher himself. According to the 6’4″ right-hander:
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.