The last time Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson discussed the plan to shut Stephen Strasburg down at some point in September, he told reporters that he'd spoken to GM Mike Rizzo about when the 24-year-old right-hander's season would end and concluded that the Nats would, "... need another starter for I think two starts."
"I think it was two starts," Johnson said, "Might have been three. I thought it was two." Strasburg has made one start since then, a rough outing against the Marlins Tuesday night in Miami, and upon returning to the nation's capital, Johnson once again addressed the issue, telling reporters this afternoon before the start of a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, that the Nats' '09 no.1 overall pick has two or three starts left in his 2012 campaign:
Davey spoke to Strasburg on team plane last night, told pitcher he'll make "probably 2 or 3 more" starts before shutdown.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) August 30, 2012
Davey says he told Strasburg on the team plane last night he's got a couple more starts. "Pretty firm plan," Johnson says.— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) August 30, 2012
Johnson had previously said that Strasburg would be made aware of the fact before he made his last start, adding that given the information he provided and given Strasburg's average of around 6.0 IP per start, "You guys should be able to do the math on that. If you need some help, I'll help you." Strasburg is scheduled to start Sunday afternoon's series finale with St. Louis. After his last outing in Miami, the right-hander is (15-6) on the year with a 3.05 ERA, 2.71 FIP, 44 BB (2.63 BB/9) and 186 Ks (11.14 K/9) in 26 starts and 150.1 IP.
Tonight Edwin Jackson opens the series with the Cardinals against left-hander Jaime Garcia.
Here's the lineup the Nationals will send out behind E-Jax for tonight's game:
— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 30, 2012
#Nationals lineup vs. STL - Werth 9, Harper 8, Zimmerman 5, Morse 7, LaRoche 3, Desmond 6, Espinosa 4, Flores 2, Jackson 1