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Strasburg exits after 16 pitches vs. Orioles with hand injury

Stephen Strasburg. Photo By All-Pro Reels Photography. 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Stephen Strasburg left Game 2 of the double header against the Orioles in the first inning on Friday night. After quickly retiring two batters, Anthony Santander hit a 350′ homer to right, quickly followed by Strasburg’s exit. The World Series MVP was wincing after nearly every pitch thrown, his hand visibly shaking.

Strasburg’s throwing hand, the same hand that saw the Nationals through an unprecedented postseason run, had been the subject of much speculation over the last month. After missing the beginning of the season with a nerve issue in his right hand, Strasburg made his debut on 8/9, also against the O’s. Although he looked comfortable through his first 4 innings of work, the bottom fell out as the Orioles knocked in 5 runs in the 5th inning. The Orioles later won that game 6-2, handing Strasburg his first loss of the season.

Manager Davey Martinez was well aware of his pitcher’s difficulty with his ailing hand. “He doesn’t feel it all the time,” Martinez told NBC Sports on Wednesday. “I know he’s in the training room working with the staff and trying to get it to go away.”

After their talismanic pitcher left the game on Friday night the Nationals responded with 15 runs and an emphatic, albeit much needed win against their inter-conference rivals. The Strasburg news comes just hours after Starlin Castro broke his wrist on a fielding play in the prior game, resulting in the 20-year old Luis Garcia being inserted into the lineup. Next man up mentality is in play for nearly every position on this Nationals team in this young season.

Strasburg’s current status is day-to-day with the hopeful prognosis being rest and non-invasive treatment.

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