One more Grapefruit League game. Then one exhibition game. Then a day off on Sunday... and then it's time for the 2015 campaign to get underway. Finally...
The Grapefruit League finale takes place this afternoon in Tampa, Florida's George M. Steinbrenner Field where the Washington Nationals take on the New York Yankees with Stephen Strasburg on the mound against CC Sabathia at 1:05 PM EDT.
Strasburg makes his fourth start of the Spring after dealing with an ingrown toenail and a rolled ankle which caused him to skip starts and interrupted his preparation.
Last time out on the mound, the 26-year-old right-hander gave up four hits, two of them home runs, four walks and four runs total in 4 IP against the same New York Mets he'll face in his first regular season start in the finale of the three-game set next in D.C. next Thursday.
That outing against NY (NL) last week left the Nationals' '09 no.1 overall pick with a 5.59 ERA (6 ER in 9 ⅔) four walks and nine Ks in three official outings in which opposing hitters have a .263 BAA.
Strasburg struggled with his command against the Mets coming off the ankle issue, throwing 70 pitches total, 39 for strikes, but the good news was that the ankle was fine after his four innings of work.
"'It’s kinda like a trust factor,'" Strasburg told reporters, including Washington Post writer James Wagner.
"'You sprain your ankle really bad you’re bracing for it so it’s hard to get over that. I didn’t really feel anything alarming so it’s progress.'"
Strasburg gets one more chance to test the ankle out this afternoon before he takes the mound in games that count next week. He's expected to throw around 85 pitches today against the Yankees.
Here's the lineup for the Nationals' final Grapefruit League game:
WATCH: As noted above, this afternoon's game from Tampa, Florida is available on MLB.tv in D.C. and in the NY area it's on YES.