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Nationals' Stephen Strasburg leaves start in fourth with "tightness in left side"

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Washington Nationals' starter Stephen Strasburg was through 3 2/3 scoreless against the San Francisco Giants when he exited the game with "left side tightness" after getting a groundout out of Buster Posey. That's all that's known right now...

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

How strong Stephen Strasburg looked on the mound this afternoon was a topic of conversation among his teammates after the 26-year-old starter left the game two outs into the fourth with tightness in his left side following an extended discussion with manager Matt Williams, pitching coach Steve McCatty and team trainer Lee Kuntz.

Williams wouldn't discuss the contents of that conversation when he spoke to reporters.

"Part of the conversation on the mound after he exited was with [Wilson Ramos] and [Ian Desmond] about how good [Strasburg] was today, the best they've seen him all year." -Matt Williams on Stephen Strasburg's exit from today's game

"That's between us," he said, but Strasburg wanted to keep going. "He was, of course, competitive, but we're not going to take that chance with him, not in that situation."

"Part of the conversation on the mound after he exited was with [Wilson Ramos] and [Ian Desmond] about how good [Strasburg] was today, the best they've seen him all year. So we'll see how he is. I'm sure he'll talk more with the docs and training staff when he gets here tomorrow and we'll continue to evaluate."

"I think I wanted to at least get through the inning and see if we could do something about," Strasburg said, "but with how it feels right now I think it was the right move."

"He left the game with some tightness in his left side," Williams explained, "so we'll continue to evaluate that, see how it is tomorrow, how he feels tomorrow, but given his season so far we're not going to take a chance there."

The latest in a string of injuries for Strasburg, who rolled his ankle this Spring and then experienced back issues and neck tightness which led to a DL stint, wasn't a problem until the fourth inning.

He threw 3 ⅔ scoreless against San Francisco, but something went wrong during his matchup with Giants' catcher Buster Posey.

"Don't really have an explanation," Strasburg said. "Everything felt good and then just threw a pitch to Posey there, he grounded out and I felt it grab."

Strasburg threw one more pitch before he got the mound visit.

"Everything felt good," he said. "I was commanding the fastball really well today. Especially the last couple outings, so making good strides, but sometimes you don't have an explanation for what happens."

"I mean, everything happens for a reason," Strasburg said.

"So I'm just going to look at it that way, try and stay positive and get back out here helping this team as soon as I can."

"It's tightness in his left side," Williams said when asked if today's problem was related to Strasburg's other issues this season. "That's what we know right now and we'll see how it is tomorrow."

• We talked about the latest problem for Strasburg, Bryce Harper's homer and more on Nats Nightly after the game:

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