Stephen Strasburg lasts five innings vs. Mets

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Stephen Strasburg just finished his sixth major league start a short while ago, allowing two runs over five innings against the Mets. Not only was it the shortest outing of Strasburg’s brief major league career, but he managed a career-low five strikeouts.

After Strasburg labored through a 37-pitch first inning, it was pretty obvious he wouldn’t be long for this one. He issued three walks in the opening frame, the most notable of which was a 10-pitch at-bat by Josh Thole. Somehow, he was able to escape with just one run crossing the plate, courtesy of an RBI double by Jason Bay.

Things really could have been a lot worse, as he was able to get Jeff Francoeur to fly out with the bases loaded to end the inning. This, after nearly beheading Francoeur earlier in the at-bat. I’ll give Frenchy some credit for actually staying in the batter’s box after that pitch, because I probably would have needed a new pair of pants.

Strasburg retired the final seven batters he faced after allowing an RBI single to Thole in a 26-pitch third inning, but it was too little too late. He was pulled after throwing 64 of 96 pitches for strikes.

The 21-year-old right-hander now has a 2.45 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over his first six major league starts, posting a 53/10 K/BB ratio over 36 2/3 innings. He’ll wrap up the first half with a start against the Padres next Thursday.

Adam Eaton sustains leg injury after tripping over first base

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Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.

Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.

Madison Bumgarner likely sidelined through the All-Star break

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It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.

Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.