Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg was not shy about the fact that his innings cap in 2012 frustrated him a great deal. This year, however, the Nationals have not put a limit on how much the 24-year-old can throw. That doesn’t mean the team will stop being careful with him.
For example, Strasburg threw seven shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds in his first start of the year and allowed only three hits. Despite the fact that he finished the seventh with a pitch count of 80 and a two-run lead, manager Davey Johnson went to the bullpen. Strasburg is hoping that changes as the season moves on.
“I’ve learned to scale back and realize not necessarily throwing as hard as you can every time is the right recipe, so I try and scale back a little bit and I definitely try to hit my spots a little bit better,” Strasburg told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny on Thursday. “And my goal is to go deep into the ballgame every time out, and that’s all I’m really focused on right now and hopefully I can keep doing that.
“…And hopefully Davey Johnson will loosen the leash here a little bit at some point [laughs] and let me go past the seventh. I think I am more focused on the eighth inning.”
Strasburg held out hope until the last second that he might pitch in the postseason last year, and his wish didn’t come true. While you can understand him being upset about that, you can’t blame Johnson and the Nationals for being conservative with him early in the season. Washington is a legitimate World Series contender, but an unhealthy Strasburg could take them out of the running.
Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for the transcription
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