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Washington Nationals News: Stephen Strasburg's 3rd Start, More Front Office Moves.

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Bouncing back from a rough outing in his second AFL start, Washington's '09 No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg threw four hitless, walking only two, before surrendering a leadoff double in the fifth inning of this afternoon's Arizona Fall League game between Strasburg's Phoenix Desert Dogs and the visiting Surprise Rafters. Fellow Nationals' prospect, D-Dogs' right-hander Josh Wilkie came on in relief, let Strasburg's run in and gave up an unearned run on an error, but preserved the Phoenix Desert Dogs' 4-2 lead in what ends up a 7-6 Strasburg win...

BACKPAGE:

• Strasburg's Line, AFL Game Notes

• Nationals' Add Kasey McKeon To Front Office. 

BACKPAGE:

Strasburg (2-1, 6.97 ERA) throws 4.1 IP, allows 1 H, 1 ER, and 2 walks, while striking out 5 and throwing 67 pitches, 42 for strikes to 16 batters, 3 of whom ground out and 5 of whom fly out. After a 13-pitch first which saw the Nationals' 21-year-old right-hander record back-to-back K's before a one-out walk and a line drive out, Strasburg needed 18 to pitches to get through the second, which started with a walk and ended 3 batters later following a fly out, K and groundout. 11 pitches, two groundouts and an infield pop got Strasburg to the fourth where he retired the Rafters in order for four hitless, before the Kansas City Royals' '07 1st Round pick, third baseman Mike Moustakas, taken second overall behind the Rays' David Price, gets the Rafters' first hit.

• AFL Game Notes: DC SS prospect Danny Espinosa goes 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored, and he's now hitting .314 in 10 games and 35 AFL at bats in which he's collected 1 double and 5 RBI's. The Nationals' future first baseman Chris Marrero gets a start at first for a change after a few DH appearances, and goes 1 for 4 with a run scored, and the '06 1st Round pick is now hitting .333 with 13 hits in 29 at bats over which he's hit 3 doubles and 2 HR's while knocking in 8 and posting a .435 OBP, .564 SLG, and a .999 OPS. 

Final Score: Desert Dogs 7, Rafters 6. MLB.com's GameDay.

Further Reading: 

• "Strasburg allows 1 hit in 4 1/3 [updated]" - Chatter - Washington Times - Mark Zuckerman.

"It's another beautiful afternoon at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, where the Phoenix Desert Dogs are ready to host the Surprise Rafters ..."

• Nationals' Add Kasey McKeon, Jay Robertson To Front Office. 

I first read about this at the SB Nation's MLB Daily Dish, in a post by Eli Greenspan entitled, "Nationals add former scouting director to front office", which linked to one of the the first published reports, in an article by FOXSports.com writer Jon Paul Morosi entitled, "Nats add McKeon, Roberts to front office", that broke the news that Washington had convinced two more baseball executives to join GM Mike Rizzo's front office in DC. Kasey McKeon, who'd served as a special assistant to Colorado Rockies' GM Dan O'Dowd, and Jay Robertson, who'd been a special asst. to the GM in the Rangers' front office, left their respective teams to join the movement in the nation's capital. 

According to Baseball-Reference.com's quick bio on Kasey McKeon, the son of former Marlins' Skipper Jack McKeon was a catcher drafted by the Detroit Tigers (out of San Diego State University) who transitioned to scouting and then front office work with the Padres, Indians, Reds and finally the Rockies, and now McKeon will become the Nationals' Director of Player Procurement. According to Mr. Morosi's FOXSport.com article, Jay Robertson, who worked as a special assistant to the GM with the Rangers for the last eight years, after having spents 11 years in the Cleveland Indians' organization, will now be a special assistant to Mike Rizzo in DC.  

Now how about that manager?