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Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg can’t get loose vs D-backs; lifted out of precaution after two innings...

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“He couldn’t get loose. We saw him keep shaking his arm, so we just took him out for precaution.” - Dusty Baker on Stephen Strasburg leaving start vs D-backs after two innings.

Washington Nationals v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Out of an abundance of caution, Washington Nationals’ starter Stephen Strasburg left the mound after two innings on Sunday afternoon when he couldn’t get loose. It was the second straight outing in which the 29-year-old right-hander experienced similar issues.

Strasburg said he felt pretty good against the Cincinnati Reds in his first start out of the All-Star Break, but as he explained it after the seven-inning outing, “... it just kind of took a little while to get loose, I just feel like a couple days of no-throw over the Break, just kind of the body just wants to pretend like it’s the offseason, so just trying to wake it back up the next couple days after that, just took a little while, but I just tried to battle through it and just keep going, and it seemed to get better as the game went on.”

Dusty Baker described a similar experience for the right-hander when he talked about the decision to lift the right after he threw 51 pitches, 29 for strikes, giving up one hit and three walks while striking out two the series finale with the Diamondbacks.

With Strasburg’s injury history, which includes Tommy John surgery, and the way he was flexing and stretching his right arm in Arizona’s Chase Field, there were obvious reasons for concern, but Baker said afterwards they think Strasburg is going to be okay.

“We just took him out for precaution,” the Nats’ skipper explained. “He couldn’t get loose. We saw him keep shaking his arm, so we just took him out for precaution.

“We just took him out for precaution,” the Nats’ skipper explained. “He couldn’t get loose. We saw him keep shaking his arm, so we just took him out for precaution.

“He’s had a little stiffness, really couldn’t get loose even though he was throwing the ball well, so we’ll analyze it when we get back home, after he sees our doctors, and hopefully we’ll have an answer on Tuesday.”

Asked specifically where the stiffness was located, in the elbow, forearm, or shoulder, Baker said he didn’t know.

“No, I don’t know, just stiffness,” he said. “We don’t know where exactly, but he just has some stiffness, so I hope it’s nothing. Like I said, we took him out for precaution.”

Strasburg reportedly said the stiffness was in his forearm.

As for what else stood out from Strasburg’s outing?

“I don’t know,” Baker said. “What stood out was that he kept shaking his — but he always does that, so you know, we just took the safe route, the precautionary route.”

Here’s what Strasburg said post game via the reporters on hand in AZ: