Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was pulled after four rough innings Sunday against the Marlins with discomfort in his upper back, and now the issue is going to cost him his next rotation turn.
Tanner Roark will be recalled from High-A Potomac to pitch in place of Strasburg Friday against the Braves, per CSNWashington.com’s Mark Zuckerman. Strasburg has been able to play catch the last two days without issue, but the Nationals want to see him pitch off a mound before they clear him to return and he won’t do that until Thursday.
Strasburg could pitch at some point this weekend versus Atlanta if the mound workout does go well.
Washington entered play Wednesday with a 6 1/2 game deficit in the National League East standings.
A four-game weekend set with the 54-79 Braves should provide an opportunity to gain some ground.
It was a rather exciting contest for one that took two days to play, but the Nationals held on to beat the Dodgers 5-3 after Friday night’s game resumed Saturday afternoon.
In the top of the ninth, Joc Pederson barely pulled foul his bid for a go-ahead, three-run homer before Drew Storen closed it out.
Pinch-hitter Matt den Dekker hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to give the Nationals back their lead after Adrian Gonzalez hit his second homer of the game and first of the day in the top of the sixth, tying the game at 3-3.
The game last night was halted three times because of issues with a bank of lights down the left-field line, forcing play to be resumed today.
Both pitchers on the mound when play ended Friday continued on today. Tanner Roark gave up Gonzalez’s game-tying homer in the sixth. Chin-Hui Tsao allowed two runs in the fifth last night, but he pitched a scoreless sixth today.
The Dodgers and Nationals will play their regularly scheduled game at 4:05 EDT. They’ll both be able to add a 26th player for that one as a result of the semi-doubleheader today.
UPDATE: Nationals manager Matt Williams said after the game that Strasburg left the start with tightness in his left side. He’s scheduled to be re-evaluated on Sunday.
12:39 p.m. ET: According to MASN Sports’ Dan Kolko, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg exited today’s start against the Giants in the top of the fourth inning due to an apparent injury to his left side.
Strasburg was in obvious discomfort on his final three pitches. He tried to make his case to stay in the game, but the Nationals understandably didn’t want to take any chances. Strasburg was pitching well prior to exiting, allowing one hit and two walks over 3 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out three batters. Tanner Roark replaced him to protect an early 3-0 lead.
This was Strasburg’s third start back after missing four weeks with a left trapezius strain. The Nationals will have to hope that he doesn’t require another extended absence. We should have more information on his status after the game.
Hours after being brought back from the minors, Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett ended up getting the go-ahead hit last night in a 6-5 win over the Nationals at Miller Park in Milwaukee.
The Nationals actually grabbed an early 5-1 lead on Matt Garza, but the Brewers chipped away against Tanner Roark with two runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth before Gerardo Parra hit a game-tying solo home run in the seventh. Gennett, who was demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs last month after batting .154 with a .403 OPS over his first 21 games this season, then hit a go-ahead single off Aaron Barrett in the the eighth before Francisco Rodriguez notched the save.
Everybody keeps waiting for the Nationals to run away and hide in the National League East. While it could still happen, they haven’t lived up to expectations yet. The Nationals have lost 10 out of their last 13 games and currently sit at 31-29 on the year. That puts them a half-game behind the Mets for first place in the National League East. By the way, all five teams in the National League East have a negative run differential. This has been quite the underwhelming lot thus far.
Your Thursday box scores and AP recaps:
Mariners 0, Indians 6
Padres 6, Braves 4 (11 innings)
Rangers 0, Athletics 7
Giants 4, Mets 5
Rockies 0, Marlins 6
Red Sox 5, Orioles 6
Angels 6, Rays 2
Reds 3, Cubs 6
Nationals 5, Brewers 6
UPDATE: Nationals manager Matt Williams said that Roark will start Monday, per Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.
1:20 p.m. ET: Tanner Roark posted a 2.85 ERA across 31 starts last season, but the Nationals moved him to the bullpen after signing Max Scherzer to a huge contract over the winter. That depth is coming in handy now that Doug Fister is sidelined with a strained flexor muscle in his forearm.
According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Roark will either start Monday or Tuesday against the Cubs depending on whether he’s needed out of the bullpen this weekend. The 28-year-old right-hander hasn’t thrown more than 52 pitches in game this season, so Nationals manager Matt Williams said he’ll likely be limited to around 70 pitches for his first start back.
There’s still no timetable for Fister’s return, so Roark could keep a spot in the rotation for a while.