Washington Nationals, start their seasonal count
Last season, the Washington Nationals counted every pitch that Stephen Strasburg threw, more than any other pitcher in Major League Baseball. This season will be no different.
Their ace, and possibly best pitcher in the game, next to Justin Verlander, will be watched, pitch by pitch. The Nationals open up their spring training schedule today against the Mets, and Strasburg takes the mound for the first time this season. Strasburg, will face, Shawn Marcum, at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie, Fl. Each pitcher will only go a couple of innings today, but those innings will count against Strasburg.
The Nationals, don’t have plans to shut down Strasburg at a certain innings pitched count, like they did last season at 160 IP. Even without that shutdown mark, look for the Nationals to cut innings here and there when they can where Strasburg is concerned. With 35 Grapefruit League games, 162 regular season games, and a possible 20 post season games, Strasburg, could possibly start 43 to 45 games this year.
Nationals coach Davey Johnson said, Strasburg, will be limited to 45 pitches, or two to three innings, in today’s outing. Strasburg’s Grapefruit League experience will most likely be less than the Nationals starting pitchers.
The Nationals finished last season with a record of 98-64, but shut Strasburg down in September, when he hit that 160 innings mark. The Nationals were questioned for the decision, but stuck with it. Choosing, to not jeopardize, Strasburg’s, future for one postseason run. This season with no shutdown in sight, the Nationals hope to ride, Strasburg’s, arm to a World Series victory.
By Steve Kish @SteveKGuardian