Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg returns after delay, fans 10 in win

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A 51-minute rain delay couldn’t cool off Stephen Strasburg, as the Nationals’ ace allowed one run in six innings and struck out 10 to beat the Braves on Tuesday night.

Ian Desmond and Jesus Flores homered off Paul Maholm in the 4-1 game.

It was Strasburg’s fifth double-digit strikeout game of the season. He improved to 15-5 with a 2.85 ERA.

The delay came with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. As soon as play resumed, Strasburg struck out Martin Prado on four pitches to end the frame. He went on to strike out two more in the fourth and the side in order in the fifth.

Given how careful the Nationals are being with Strasburg, they certainly would have been justified in shutting him down after the delay. Such a decision might have even bought him another start next month as he neared his inning limit. He’s at 145 1/3 innings after going six tonight, which would seem to suggest that he’ll make three more starts.

Mets’ Neil Walker expected to undergo season-ending back surgery

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: Neil Walker #20 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.

If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.

Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.

Video: Stephen Cardullo celebrates his birthday by hitting a grand slam

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 31:  Stephen Cardullo #65 of the Colorado Rockies watches his first career Major League home run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on August 31, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.

In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.

Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.