Stephen Strasburg
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Stephen Strasburg passes Steve Rogers for franchise strikeout record

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Nationals hurler Stephen Strasburg became the new franchise strikeout leader on Friday, surpassing former Expos starter Steve Rogers’ record with his 1,622nd career strikeout against the Mets.

Strasburg entered the series with 1,619 career whiffs under his belt, needing just two to tie the record and three to break it. He found an opportune moment to do so when, after retiring both Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis in the first and second innings, he induced another three-pitch swinging strikeout from Todd Frazier in the third:

At the outset of Friday’s game, Rogers’ previous strikeout record had remained unchallenged for 34 years. He wrapped his 13-year career in an Expos’ uniform in 1985, striking out the Padres’ Steve Garvey in the first inning of his final start for strikeout no. 1,621. (For those who may feel it’s a bit generous to lump in the Expos’ team records with those of the Nationals, the player who previously tallied the most career strikeouts in a Nationals’ uniform was Jordan Zimmerman with 903 — a mark long-since improved by Strasburg.)

Following his record-setting performance in the third inning, Strasburg continued to improve his career totals. He bounced back from a disastrous, three-run inning in the fourth and struck out newly-minted Met Joe Panik, Marcus Stroman, and J.D. Davis, bringing his numbers up to 1,625 strikeouts overall. It’s an impressive addition to an already-solid campaign, one in which the 31-year-old righty carries a 3.80 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, 10.7 SO/9, and 4.0 fWAR through 149 1/3 innings.

Ex-Angels employee charged in overdose death of Tyler Skaggs

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FORT WORTH, Texas — A former Angels employee has been charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl in connection with last year’s overdose death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, prosecutors in Texas announced Friday.

Eric Prescott Kay was arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, and made his first appearance Friday in federal court, according to Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Kay was communications director for the Angels.

Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed before the teams played the final three games.

Skaggs died after choking on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, a coroner’s report said. Prosecutors accused Kay of providing the fentanyl to Skaggs and others, who were not named.

“Tyler Skaggs’s overdose – coming, as it did, in the midst of an ascendant baseball career – should be a wake-up call: No one is immune from this deadly drug, whether sold as a powder or hidden inside an innocuous-looking tablet,” Nealy Cox said.

If convicted, Kay faces up to 20 years in prison. Federal court records do not list an attorney representing him, and an attorney who previously spoke on his behalf did not immediately return a message seeking comment.