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Stephen Strasburg chased from final home start of season after three innings

Sep 7, 2012, 8:39 PM EDT

Stephen Strasburg AP AP

Stephen Strasburg‘s final start at Nationals Park this season ended up being a brief one, as he was chased after giving up five runs over just three innings tonight against the Marlins.

Strasburg wasn’t fooling anyone, giving up six hits and three walks while striking out two. He threw just 37 out of 67 pitches for strikes. Rob Brantly and Giancarlo Stanton both connected for solo homers. Stanton also touched him up for an RBI double.

Strasburg tied the shortest outing of his major league career tonight, as he previously pitched three innings on June 30 against the Braves and last September 11 against the Astros in his second start back from Tommy John surgery. His ERA is now at a season-high 3.16 while he’s up to 159 1/3 innings on the year. The Nationals intend to shut him down for the season after his start next Wednesday against the Mets at Citi Field.

  1. raysfan1 - Sep 7, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Well, that’ll keep his innings count down, eh?

    • raysfan1 - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      In all seriousness, and this is not something I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere, why not do an MRI on his elbow? If the graft shows some inflammation, fine–absolutely nobody would blink at shutting him down then. If the graft is okay, then there is zero reason not to let him pitch.

  2. natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    raysfan1, it’s been mentioned several times. Someone even said, why not give him an MRI after every start.

    • raysfan1 - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      Can you tell me who? If it’s in print/on line, I’d like to read the article.

  3. natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    MRI: The MRI is a powerful test that is a cornerstone of diagnosis in throwing related elbow injuries. Often it is performed with an intra-articular injection of contrast to increase the detail observed in the area of the UCL. An MRI is not 100% sensitive or specific and the results are occasionally not conclusive.

    • raysfan1 - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      I happen to be a physician. There is only a single 100% fact in medicine–that everybody dies eventually. Regardless, MRIs are the single most powerful tool for noninvasively investigating connective tissues. Plus, what I suggested was not trying to conclusively determine whether a UCL tear was partial or complete (what your article was stating an MRI could not with absolute certainty determine), I was stating that the presence of any abnormality at all would be reason enough to go the ultra-conservative route in shutting Strasburg down. The Nats are clearly seton said ultra-conservative route, and that is their right. However, the decision is based on hunch/fear, not evidence.

      • lazlosother - Sep 8, 2012 at 2:43 AM

        Well, I’m not real happy about this everybody dies thing. One would think you people could do better. Maybe you all could listen to Dr. Oz a little more closely.

        As for SS, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Nats keep him stretched out with bullpen sessions, and we see him in the post season. Either way, tremendous talent.

  4. natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    With too many MRIs there is increased cancer risk. I posted an article related to cancer risk a few days ago.

    • raysfan1 - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:27 PM

      There is no proven increased cancer risk from nonionizing radiation or magnetic fields.

      • natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:40 PM

        whatever. The article I posted said 25,000 people per year die from cancer due to increased exposure replated to MRIs. I’m done arguing with people on this.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:52 PM

        I would love to see that article. Really, I would, not trying to be argumentative really. I did not see your post; if you re-link it, I will happily go read it. I did a search using the National Library of Medicine database and found no scholarly article from peer reviewed journals indicating such risks from MRIs. There are risks or heat injuries, reactions to the contrast media (which would not normally be used on an elbow), and theoretical risks to unborn babies. However, without studying the article, I am more thana little skeptical about any cancer claims as there has to be a mechanism to cause DNA mutations. Ionizing radiation definitely can, x-rays and CT scans being obvious examples. There have been many studies on other sources on nonionizing radiation–cell phones, microwaves, power lines, etc–and none have been conclusively shown to cause cancers.

      • Old Gator - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:28 AM

        Cellphones cause cancer. Aspirin causes cancer. Fluorescent lighting causes cancer. Living near the power grid causes cancer. Constant rubbing of your nose causes cancer. Sex causes cancer. Eating causes cancer. Breathing causes cancer. Life, in general, causes cancer. Cancer, said the Buddha, is the eight mutually arising cause and therefore causes itself. And worst of all, HeLa cells are lurking in the smegma between the tiles of your countertop. Ongoing research, as reported in the Journal of Irreproducible Results, strongly indicates that paranoia and hypochondria cause cancer. You can’t win.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 8, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        And what does not cause cancer causes hives, acne, impotence, diabetes, swelling, blindness, excessive sensitivity to light, liver failure, kidney stones, clogged arteries, and pain in some part of the body (possibly, several).

        Look, I’m not a doctor, don’t play one on TV, didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express ™ last night. So I defer to the physician on what the research says and doesn’t say.

        One thing that has emerged from the Strasburg debate is that there is a lack of published, peer-reviewed medical research on the treatment of ligament injuries of the elbow. Thus, we don’t know what the “right” course is. However, I’d just point out that Mike Rizzo consulted about the risks with physicians with expertise and experience in treating pitchers with such injuries. Knowing that gives me more confidence in Rizzo’s decision.

    • Marty - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:50 PM

      MRI / NMR pose no cancer risk. Period.

  5. dawgpoundmember - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Cancer sucks

    • Old Gator - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:55 AM

      Sucking causes cancer of the lips and tongue.

      • Old Gator - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:56 AM

        Oh yeah, and probably causes cancer of the glans. This is truly horrible news.

  6. natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    • natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:18 PM

      Plus I found several other articles related to risks associated with MRIs, including allergies and the presence of bone chips, which pitchers could have. For some reason the post that I made with all those article (about a dozen) did not appear. But it was a simple search on dangers of MRIs and CAT scans, so you can probably duplicate it.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:31 AM

        Thanks. There is a problem with the article in that they are lumping MRIs I with PET scans, plain films, and CTs. PET scans, plain films, and CTs all utilize ionizing radiation and definitely can cause tumors. MRIs use nonionizing radiation. Nonionizing radiation does not have sufficient energy to cause DNA mutations and thus does not cause tumors.

        I mentioned the allergy issue myself–that comes from a reaction to the gadolinium contrast media. No media should be needed to visualize a UCL graft.

        The bone chips (or cartilage chips too), are a possible complication of injecting the dye also. The MRI itself does not cause them.

    • Marty - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:53 PM

      This article includes CT and X-ray, numbnuts. MRI is mentioned as a courtesy.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:33 AM

        The rudeness is not necessary or helpful.

      • Marty - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:59 AM

        Tell that to some kid infected with H1N1 because people like natslady get their medical advice from Jenny McCarthy.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 8, 2012 at 1:16 AM

        The publication’s assertions on flu vaccine efficacy is indeed ridiculous and invalidates any credibility I might have given it. The flu vaccine is effective in over 95% of people vaccinated, contrary to that publication’s assertion. Plus, 3000-49000 people die each year from the seasonal flu, and most of them could be prevented. So we agree on that.

        It’s the “numbnuts” part I was referring to. Piss people off, and they will not listen.

    • Marty - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:57 PM

      And your source is “Natural News”?

      I bet they consider Cheetos a class 1 toxin.

      Science is hard, I know.

      • bigleagues - Sep 8, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Maybe not a class 1 toxin, but it is most certainly filled with toxins. Many food colorings, incidentally, are petroleum by-products and are extremely difficult to digest.

    • Marty - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      According to “Natural News”, flue vaccines don’t work. In their words:

      The idea that flu shots provide any sort of ‘protection’ is pure propaganda


      • sophiethegreatdane - Sep 8, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        Wow, people will believe anything if it’s written on the web. What happened to facts, research, and science?

  7. natslady - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    My own conclusion would be that multiple MRIs might be appropriate if there is a health issue that could lead to a person’s death or serious disability. Stephen Strasburg does not have a health issue that could result in his death or serious disability. If he were not a multi-million dollar athlete, you would not be asking a 24 y.o. man to take an MRI every week and incur the risk of cancer or allergic reaction, etc.

    • Old Gator - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:31 AM

      Singing causes cancer, too. Nodes don’t form on your vocal cords for no reason. Some of the reasons have been extrapolated in Natural News, which appears to have overlooked the indisputable evidence that extrapolation causes cancer too.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:53 AM

        Strictly speaking, vocal cord nodules as caused by singing are not tumors. They’re more akin to scarring.

      • Old Gator - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:56 AM

        Scarring causes cancer.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 8, 2012 at 1:00 AM

        The sun emits ionizing radiation. Thus, life on earth can cause cancer.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 8, 2012 at 1:06 AM

        You can avoid the ionizing radiation from the sun by lead-lining your house and never going outside. Then again, the EPA has classified lead as a probable human carcinogen. Then there is that pesky lead poisoning thing. Never mind, carry on.

      • bigleagues - Sep 8, 2012 at 1:33 AM

        Sitting on your couch with your laptop, commenting on HBT for hours on end causes cancer as well.

      • manchestermiracle - Sep 8, 2012 at 10:52 PM

        Having your laptop on your lap for hours at a time probably won’t cause cancer, but it will heat your nads enough to reduce your sperm count and thus your chances of producing offspring that will likely grow up, become overly obsessed with a young man’s ability to hurl a small round object, and end up sitting on his own couch with his laptop in his lap for hours. So maybe it’s really a good thing….

    • raysfan1 - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:45 AM

      Well, I gotta agree that the only reason anyone would suggest doing an MRI that often is that he is a multimillion $ player, and the team he plays for maken even more off of him. To there credit,their decision is knowingly risking short term profits in favor of future gains that may not happen. I do applaud considering the player’s health first.

      What I have suggested is a single MRI, not using a contrast dye. There is no cancer risk from that, nor an allergy risk. The greatest risk is falling in the clinic. For me, any abnormality at all would equate to sitting him down, and then the decision would be based on some evidence.

      • bigleagues - Sep 8, 2012 at 1:35 AM

        The greatest risk is falling in the clinic.

        Unless, of course, he’s got some surgically implanted metals we don’t know about.

      • raysfan1 - Sep 8, 2012 at 1:59 AM


      • bigleagues - Sep 8, 2012 at 10:29 AM


        In all seriousness, I’ve needed several instances of imaging over the last several years (nothing really bad, just chronic). There is a good reason why the first imaging of choice is an MRI and not a CT Scan – and it’s the reasons that raysfan1 has already given – non-ionizing vs. ionizing.

        Ionizing radiation is something those of who have lived close to nuclear power plants are familiar with. [sarcasm alert . . .] There’s nothing as reassuring as getting iodine tablets in the mail from the government, courtesy of your local nuke. Ya know, just in case of ‘equipment malfunction’.

        But listen, eventually you get used to the glowing ocean water and the three eyed fish.

        So in conclusion, MRI’s – SAFE (unless your Iron Man). Living near a nuclear power plant (which tens of millions of non-cancerous Americans do) – not as safe as an MRI.

  8. Old Gator - Sep 8, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Incidentally, Stephen Strasburg didn’t pitch very well tonight. He may have cancer.

    • Ben - Sep 8, 2012 at 1:07 AM

      Cancer is a verb, not a noun.

      • bigleagues - Sep 8, 2012 at 1:39 AM

        You dare question a retired English professor who has been lacing his satirical performance art prose throughout this entire comments section?!





  9. bigleagues - Sep 8, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    This conversation may have or may not have reportedly occurred earlier this week:

    BORAS: OK, I just want to make sure we are all on the same page. Hasn’t everything has gone just as we planned?

    RIZZO: Yeah! You bet! E-Jax has come through as you promised, we’ve built a nice divisional lead and I mean, other than the Strasburg shutdown hysteria, it couldn’t have gone better to this point. Stephen’s bounced back great. Better than expected, in fact. Actually, do we really have to shut —

    BORAS: YES! Yes, we do.

    STRASBURG: But I still feel strong. I haven’t had any lingering effects. Can I at least get an MRI and see if I have any issues to be worried about?

    BORAS/RIZZO (at same time, respectively exclaim): NO/YES

    BORAS: Now listen, Stephen, I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but we can NOT have you pitch well in your final two starts. We need to manage the potential for PR blowback on the outside chance that things don’t go our way in the playoffs. The best way to accomplish that is for you to go out there and throw a couple of stinkers which provide us with some public cache in the form of some evidence to support the shutdown decision. As a result, we’ll hush our critics and refocus attention on the rest of the team

    RIZZO reaches for his pepto bismo.

    STRASBURG: But what if this is my first and only best shot at winning a title?

    BORAS: Look, we’ve been over this repeatedly. You’ll still get a ring. (then, turning to Rizzo) Size 15 for me, by the way.

  10. bbk1000 - Sep 8, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Relax, this next start are against my NY Mets, so he will go out a winner.

    It might seem impossible but I’m thinking he has a chance to lower his season high ERA of 3.16 to a perfect 0.00…after all, these are the Mets….

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