Stephen Strasburg appears likely to miss another start

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As Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington notes, Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to make his scheduled start Sunday against the Phillies.

Starting pitchers usually require a bullpen session a few days before they take the mound and the Nats have shut their prized right-hander down indefinitely.  Even if he’s cleared to throw Friday, the Nationals won’t want to rush him into a Sunday afternoon start. 

Zuckerman asked manager Jim Riggleman if he would be surprised to see Strasburg take the mound against the Phils, and here was his response:

“I don’t want to say I’ll be surprised, because then if I pitch him
Sunday, it contradicts itself. But as you said, we’ve been cautious, and
we’ll continue to be cautious.”

Strasburg was scratched Monday after reporting soreness in his throwing shoulder and he was later revealed to have a bit of inflammation.  He is already the face of the franchise in Washington and the Nats aren’t chasing a pennant this season.  We would be shocked if he pitches before Monday of next week, when the Nationals kick off a four-game series in Arizona.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.