Washington Nationals' Stephen Strasburg Leaves Start vs the Atlanta Braves After Two Innings [UPDATED: 9:20 PM EST]

Scott Cunningham

Washington Nationals' right-hander Stephen Strasburg appeared uncomfortable on the mound and Davey Johnson and Steve McCatty were clearly concerned as they lifted the Nats' starter after just two innings of work tonight in the series opener with the Atlanta Braves.

• 10:20: Strasburg video:


9:20 pm EST: Here's the latest on Strasburg via the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore:

• 8:40 pm EST: Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was lifted from tonight's game with the Atlanta Braves after just two innings and 37 innings pitched after he was noticeably uncomfortable on the mound, drawing the attention of manager Davey Johnson, pitching coach Steve McCatty and even catcher Kurt Suzuki who checked on the starter as Strasburg wrapped up a 26-pitch second by striking out Dan Uggla. Strasburg surrendered a solo home run by Freddie Freeman earlier in the first at bat of the inning, then retired the next three batters, but he kept walking off the mound as he followed through on his pitches and rolling his shoulders and stretching his neck as he retook the mound.

The Nationals' '09 no.1 overall pick did not appear happy with the decision, staring straight ahead as first Davey Johnson and McCatty and then just the pitching coach tried to talk to him about the decision that had apparently already been made. When the bottom of the third started, Craig Stammen took over on the mound in Turner Field ending Strasburg's outing after 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks, 1 HR, 37 P, 23 S, 3/0 GO/FO. Here's how we captured the last inning of Strasburg's outing in tonight's post game report:

"Eight pitches into the Braves' half of the second, Freddie Freeman cut the Nats' lead in half when he crushed a 97 mph fastball and hit a long fly ball to right that ended up 20 rows back in Turner Field's right field bleacher seats. 2-1 Nationals. Strasburg was a mess of tics on the mound in the second, stretching his neck and rolling his shoulders as he appeared to try to get loose. As Nats' skipper Davey Johnson and pitching coach Steve McCatty watched closely, and appeared to make a call to the bullpen, Strasburg struck Dan Uggla out with a 2-2 curve to end a 26-pitch inning. After a long conversation with Johnson and McCatty in the visitor's dugout, a visibly unhappy Strasburg was apparently told he was not going back out.

Denard Span singled to start third as the drama played out on the Nationals' bench, but Span was doubled up on a line drive to short when Ramiro Pena leapt to catch the ball off Steve Lombardozzi's bat, then landed and fired a throw to first to that beat the runner back to the bag in the eyes of first base ump Larry Vanover. When the bottom of the third commenced, Stephen Strasburg was replaced on the mound by Craig Stammen as speculation on the internet began about what was ailing the Nats' no.1 starter..."

• More information when it's available. Join tonight's GameThread HERE.

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