Stephen Strasburg thinks he's still healthy enough to pitch for the Nationals. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg had some choice words for team management after the decision was made on Sept. 7 to shut him down for the rest of the season, according to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post:
“I don’t know if I’m ever going to accept it, to be honest,” Strasburg said. “It’s something that I’m not happy about at all. That’s not why I play the game. I play the game to be a good teammate and win. You don’t grow up dreaming out playing in the big leagues to get shut down when the games start to matter. It’s going to be a tough one to swallow."
The team had originally set a date of Sept. 12 to end his season, but following a loss to the Miami Marlins on Friday, in which he gave up five runs in three innings, the team decided to move up that date. According to Kilgore, the Nationals noticed that Strasburg's breaking ball and "hop" on his fast ball have not been what the team is used to seeing.
Thomas Boswell of The Washington Post said that the 24-year-old pitcher may feel fine, but his numbers tell a different story:
When the shutdown was announced Saturday morning, Strasburg had the fifth (and worst) ERA in the rotation whether measured since May 15th (3.75) or over the quintet’s last 10 starts each (4.14).
Heading into Sunday's game against the Marlins, the Nationals held a 6.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves for the lead in the National League.