WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 02: Stephen Strasburg #37 and Kurt Suzuki #24 of the Washington Nationals walk back to the dugout after warming up prior to a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on September 2, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Following Stephen Strasburg's 26th start of the year on August 28th in Miami, Nats' skipper Davey Johnson had a talk with the 24-year-old right-hander during which he informed the '09 no.1 overall pick that he likely had two or three more starts this season before he was going to be shut down in his first full-season back following Tommy John surgery in late 2010. Following that outing against the Marlins, in which Strasburg gave up nine hits and seven runs, five earned in 5.0 IP, he was at 150.1 innings on the year. After throwing 6.0 scoreless innings this afternoon, in which he gave up just two hits, striking out nine, he was up to 156.1 IP over which he is (15-6) with a 2.94 ERA, 2.63 FIP, 45 walks (2.59 BB/9) and 195 K's (11.23 K/9).
According to multiple reports, Davey Johnson told the media after today's 4-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals that the Nats' ace will make two more starts this season, most likely next Friday (9/7) against Miami and 9/12 in New York before he's shut down for the year:
Davey says 2 more starts for Stras. Last start 9/12.— District Sports Nats (@NationalsDSP) September 2, 2012
Davey says Strasburg has two more starts. Sept. 12 is final one.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) September 2, 2012
After that Strasburg will be done. No ramping back up for the playoffs. No long relief out of the pen. Done. Shut down for the year so that he can, if all goes well, start the 2013 season at 100% and pitch without limits as Jordan Zimmermann's done this year in his second full season following the surgery. The Nationals have taken a beating in the national baseball press, but they've stated their plan clearly from the start and are apparently sticking to it with the pitcher's health and not a potential playoff run their main concern. Like the decision or hate it the Nationals have made it. Two more and out. Stephen Strasburg told reporters, as quoted by 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Holden Kushner (@HoldenRadio) on Twitter, "'I'm gonna fight with them til the end.'"
MASN's Dan Kolko (@MASNKolko) quoted D.C. GM Mike Rizzo pretty much confirming the news as well:
Mike Rizzo confirms two more starts for Strasburg. "That seems like the right number of innings to end his season."— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) September 2, 2012