A cut on his finger sustained while he was trimming his nails between innings ended Stephen Strasburg's 13th start of 2012 after 6.0 IP in the Rogers Centre in Toronto. The 23-year-old right-hander held the Blue Jays to two runs on a walk and five hits while he was on the mound. Strasburg struck out eight Jays' batters that day to leave the '09 no.1 overall pick with 100 K's in 77.0 IP over 13 starts this season in which the Nats' no.1 starter has MLB's best K/9 (11.69 K/9), 10th lowest ERA (2.45), second-lowest FIP (behind both teammate Gio Gonzalez and the Brewers' Zack Greinke at 2.01), lowest xFIP (2.42) and fourth highest fWAR (+2.7 fWAR tied with the Cubs' Chris Sale). Strasburg didn't like look he was happy with manager Davey Johnson's decision to end his last start, but the skipper explained after the game that he was simply concerned that the cut might get worse.
As Strasburg explained to reporters after the game, had it been his decision he would have returned to the mound. "'I tried to tell them I was feeling good, that everything was working and I wanted to go back out there," Strasburg told reporters including the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, but, he said, "'It’s out of my control.'" The 6.0 IP last week brought Strasburg up to 77.0 IP on the year. In three starts this month, Strasburg's posted a 1.89 ERA and 1.06 FIP with three walks (1.42 K/9) and 30 K's (14.21 K/9) in 19.0 IP.
The right-hander earned the W in the Nats' win over the Jays. Strasburg's now (8-1) as he heads into his fourteenth start, having won six of his last seven outings with Washington 10-2 with the right-hander on the hill in 2012. The Nats turn to Strasburg after having lost the first four games on the current six-game homestand. Here's the lineup that Davey Johnson has taking the field behind Strasburg tonight as he takes on the Tampa Bay Rays for the first time in his career:
#Nationals lineup 6/20 vs. #Rays - Lombardozzi 7, Harper 8, Zimmerman 5, LaRoche 3, Morse 9, Desmond 6, Espinosa 4, Flores 2, Strasburg 1— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) June 20, 2012