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Stephen Strasburg throws seven shutout innings, leaves after 80 pitches

Apr 1, 2013, 2:53 PM EDT

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Getty Images

Stephen Strasburg was cruising along through seven shutout innings against the Marlins and looked ready to pitch into the eighth inning of a game for the first time in his career, but manager Davey Johnson decided to pull him after just 80 pitches.

Washington was up 2-0, so it was hardly a blowout situation, but Johnson went to Tyler Clippard to pitch the eighth inning in front of closer Rafael Soriano.

Strasburg finished the day with seven innings of shutout, three-hit ball, walking zero and striking out three. He threw 52 of his 80 pitches for strikes and gave up just one extra-base hit, a double to Giancarlo Stanton.

  1. dondada10 - Apr 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Had a chance for a Maddux.

  2. chacochicken - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Dammit Davey, if you love him set him free.

  3. mp1113 - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    80 pitches sure is a workhorse

  4. Ben Cerow - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    This is making a mountain out of a molehill. Most managers aren’t going to let their starters go 100+ pitches in their first couple starts. Nothing to see here.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:24 PM

      Lester and Sabathia each went about 100. So did Harrison and Norris last night. I mean, I’m not going to look at every damn game, but plenty of managers would have left him in.

      • someguyinva - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:49 PM

        Meh. If they leave him (or anyone) in to go the route, then we’ll hear “Why are they overpaying Soriano if they’re not gonna let him close?”

        I’ll take seven efficient innings, regardless of who’s starting, with that bullpen any day.

      • madhatternalice - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        Lester and Sabathia also each went 5 innings. It’s not really an equitable comparison.

      • natstowngreg - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        Davey Johnson is not “plenty of managers.” He did what he did last season with his starters — be careful. Which is why Gio and Edwin Jackson and Jordan Zimmermann didn’t reach 200 innings.

      • natslady - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:42 PM

        Verlander came out after 5 innings, 91 pitches. But I guess it was cold in Target Field.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 2, 2013 at 7:22 AM

        That’s surprising.

    • madhatternalice - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      Seriously, what’s the beef, Aaron? Is this about trolling Nats fans? Talk about rush-to-judgement…

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      Indeed. If lifting SS “early” now helps us see him go 9 in late October, I vote yes.

  5. sportsdrenched - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    That was a tidy 2:15 ball game.

  6. Old Gator - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Well, the Feesh unveiled (as one does a headstone) their new look 2013 no-run offense, and put on a baserunning clinic in the seventh inning wherein Placido Palanco was treated for stupidity after getting caught in a totally pointless rundown that set up the Iron Giant getting thrown out at the plate to complete a fly-out, goof-out, throw-em-out double play and took the Feesh out of their only scoring opportunity of the game.

    The good Reecky Nolasco showed up today, throwing six creditable innings marred only by two clown peetches to Bryce Harper in the first and fourth that wound up on two lucky fans’ den mantles next to the opening day tickets they will have doubtless preserved in lucite cubes by this time tomorrow. The Gnats behind Strasburg, who sliced through the Feesh batting order like Goldfinger’s industrial laser through James Bond’s balls, proved they don’t have to knock themselves out to pocket the eighteen games of which they’re going to make a joke against this particular division rival. Tyler Clippard chugged through the eighth and then Rafael Soriano euthanized the top of the Feesh order in the ninth to seal the victory.

    A few minutes later, a couple of dozen folks who had been given gift teeckets to the Feesh home opener were seen standing on the corner of Eleventh and Fourteenth offering those same teeckets to a hypothetical third generation of no-shows. Of course, they realize it was only one game, but they also seem aware that there are going to be 161 more just like it. Well, we know two ways to spell ugly so far: u-g-l-y and Q-u-a-s-i-m-o-d-o. We need a phonetic system to make F-e-e-s-h sound that way too, but clearly, the front orifice up at Macondo Banana Massacre Field is working on it.

    • El Bravo - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      Ah, but it is good to be back, despite the predictable outcomes isn’t it?

      • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        It is. I’m trying to decide whether to bother dusting off the strange attractor or not this season. I somehow doubt if the Feesh are going to have any use for it. By the end of last season it wasn’t even visible to the naked eye, and I already doubt if they’ll be able to see it during daylight by the middle of May.

    • voteforno6 - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      Yeah, it took us a few minutes to figure out the scoring for that double play.

      • natslady - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:43 PM

        Why wasn’t it a triple play? Weren’t there three outs before the ball went out of play?

      • natslady - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:45 PM

        Oh, sorry. There was already one out.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Placido Polanco batted cleanup. That is all I need to know about the 2013 Miami Marlins. I feel for Mike Redmond.

      That said, it was a generally crisp, well-pitched game before me and 45,000 of my closest friends. Or, about a week’s worth of Fish attendance this season. I expect Bud to dust off his contraction plan any time now, if he can find an AL owner willing (like Carl Pohlad before) to go along.

      • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM

        Most fourth place hitters do bat cleanup, but Polanco will be batting mop-up this season.

    • badintent - Apr 2, 2013 at 1:51 AM

      I gave you and the python hunting boys a thumbs up ………… but Goldfinger’s laser missed Bond’s cajones, thank the Lord for that.The Fish should have a snakehead feeeeeeeeeesh night, the first fish to wiggle to the owner ‘s box gets season tickets and a chance to bit Loria ‘s stones.

      • Old Gator - Apr 2, 2013 at 6:18 AM

        In my alternative universe, Bond has been singing alto ever since.

  7. paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Teams carry 12-13 pitchers these days….with all of the off days the first couple of weeks, why not get some innings for your relievers to keep them sharp….especially when you have a stacked BP like the Nats.

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      And especially when you are fairly certain that the anemia of the opposing team’s offense will provide for some early success for your booooolpen.

      • recoveringcubsfan - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        You’re both right as rain. Using a mighty bullpen is the only thing to do. Plus, Stras labored some early in the game and he wound up with that sexy, low pitch count only by virtue of some gift outs (like the Polanco thing) and a few weak grounders early in counts in the 6th and 7th. If the Marlins had been patient, Strasburg could easily have tossed 100 pitches in 7 innings.

        This is really a weird story to put out just to prove its a slow news day.

      • natslady - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:47 PM

        Nats had two off-days (Sat and Sun) and have another off-day on Tuesday. Might as well get the BP some work.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Why carry 12-13 pitchers, with all the off days early in the season? Doesn’t make sense to me.

      • paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        Nor me, in fact, it doesn’t make sense to me to EVER do this….just results in a thin bench, replace a couple of the little uses back of the BP guys with a long man/swing man and have an extra guy on the bench…especially in the NL.

      • 18thstreet - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        The lefty-righty-lefty thing drives me crazy as a fan. I guess I understand it in a 1-run game. But most of the time, just leave your current reliever in there. There’s a good chance he can get another couple of outs.

  8. recoveringcubsfan - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    One thing I haven’t seen anybody think-over: twice Wilson Ramos got on base and twice Davey had him bunt, thereby giving away the first out. Twice, Ramos was stranded at third.

    Before the game, Strasburg was presented his 2012 Silver Slugger as the best hitting pitcher in the game.

    Twice, Davey had him bunt.

    Davey Johnson has some odd compulsions.

    • jakkispeed - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      I believe he advanced Ramos both times with his bunts. Span and Werth were to blame for stranding him.

  9. macjacmccoy - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Actually I think it was the first smart thing done with Strasburg by the Nationals. Davey no matter what he said didnt like the fact that SS was shut down at the end of the year. And even though the franchise is saying they wont do it this year he isnt taking any chances. So when he can get away with it during the season he’s going to take SS out early to keep his pitch count low. So the Front Office has1 less excuse for why come October Strasburg cant play.

  10. dw3dw - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    SS gave up a leadoff single to Juan Pierre and then retired the next 19 straight. He only had 3 strikeouts but looked great. Also, on Harper’s homeruns, he RACED around the bases–pretty funny.

  11. echech88 - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    In Davey’s defense, and I am no Nats fan, ANYONE could get through that Marlins lineup. No harm in getting the back end guys some reps so they can be sharp too.

  12. davem23 - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    It was a beautiful game to watch. I liked that Clippard and Soriano pitched, especailly the way the season ended last year. Davey just wanted to show off his new toys!

    Go Nats!

    Win or Lose its great having Baseball in the Nations Capital!

  13. ziplock10 - Apr 2, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Davey is one of the best! I’ll take opinion over anyone’s in MLB!

    BTW, hope he stays past this year.

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