There is no information available on what the issue was, since the Washington Nationals have a long-standing policy of not providing injury information during games, but Stephen Strasburg was lifted in the fourth inning of today's game with an apparent injury issue.
We'll update the story as soon as possible, but what we do now is that Strasburg came out with two down in the fourth when Nats' manager Matt Williams and team trainer Lee Kuntz spotted something they didn't like and went out to the mound for a long talk with the 26-year-old right-hander before the decision was made to lift him in favor of Tanner Roark.
On the replays, Strasburg clearly grabbed his left side, on the front, under the ribs after delivering the last pitch he threw, after stretching his back/side earlier in the inning after throwing a pitch.
More info when it's available...
Here's what happened before the injury from our soon-to-be published post game report:
5. Strasburg vs San Francisco: During his weekly appearance on 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Grant and Danny Show, Washington Nationals' General Manager Mike Rizzo was asked for his thoughts on post-DL stint Stephen Strasburg, who's won both starts since he returned to the rotation, posting a 1.50 ERA with two walks (1.50 BB/9) and 15 Ks (11.25 K/9) in 12 IP over which he's held opposing hitters to a combined .178/.213/.267 line.
So what's different for the right-hander who had an ankle issue this Spring that led to back problems which left him (3-5) with a 6.55 ERA, 14 walks (2.78 BB/9), 45 Ks (8.93 K/9) and a .325/.377/.497 line against in 10 starts and 45 ⅓ IP before he landed on the Disabled List?
"I think it's mechanical," Rizzo said.
"Delivery is smoother, more on line, more comfortable. He's not looking for a landing place to ease the pain of the ankle and that type of thing. So I think that has a lot to do with it and with some success and when you're feeling good, you're always more confident and I think that's a part of it too."
Rizzo also stressed the fact that through all his early season issues, there were reasons to believe that Strasburg would be able to straighten things out.
"When we saw him throwing, the velocity was good," Rizzo explained, "the spin rate was good, the breaking balls were good, so we just wanted to make sure that we got him healthy and got the delivery and the mechanical thing under [control] and feeling good about himself and we knew that results would follow shortly thereafter."
In his third start back this afternoon, Strasburg was facing San Francisco for the sixth time in his career after going (3-0) with a 3.10 ERA, 10 walks (3.10 BB/9) and 33 Ks (10.24 K/9) in 29 IP in the previous five outings, over which he'd held Giants' hitters to a combined .231/.296/.356 line.
Almost #gametime in our nation's capital! #Happy4th! pic.twitter.com/U9Wf5YKjHt— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 4, 2015
Strasburg's 13th start of the 2015 campaign began with an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 first. Given a 3-0 lead to work with after home runs by Michael Taylor and Bryce Harper in the home-half of the first, Strasburg came back out and gave up a one-out walk to Brandon Belt, who was subsequently picked off first on a snap throw by Wilson Ramos. A swinging K by Brandon Crawford ended Strasburg's second scoreless after 13 pitches. 24 total after two.
Justin Maxwell lined a single to right with one down for the Giants' first hit off Strasburg and Gregor Blanco walked with two outs after a seven-pitch battle, but Joe Panik grounded into a force at second to end a long-ish 22-pitch third. 46 total.
Strasburg started locating his offspeed stuff in the fourth, but nine pitches into the fourth, the right-handed starter was removed from the game after a long talk on the mound with Nats' manager Matt Williams and trainer Lee Kuntz.
No word from the Nationals on what was bothering him. More info when it's available...
Stephen Strasburg's Line: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 56 P, 36 S, 6/1 GO/FO.