WASHINGTON (AP) — All-Star ace Stephen Strasburg is done for the year after the Washington Nationals decided to end his season following a shaky start, costing him a chance to possibly pitch in the playoffs.
Manager Davey Johnson made the announcement Saturday morning with the Nationals holding the best record in the majors. He said the media attention surrounding the innings limit for the 24-year-old right-hander was affecting the pitcher.
"I just told Stephen that his year is over. He's had a great year. I know what he's growing through," Johnson said. "The media hype on this thing has been unbelievable. I feel it's as hard for him as it would be anybody to get mentally, totally committed in the ballgame. And he's reached his innings limit. So we can get past this and talk about other things for a change."
Johnson said Strasburg was "emotional" about the decision to end his season immediately. A day earlier, the overall No. 1 pick from the 2009 draft matched a career low by lasting only three innings against Miami.
"He's one heck of a pitcher and he's a heck of a competitor," Johnson said. "I know he's been struggling with it for weeks. I know he doesn't sleep good thinking about it."
Strasburg went 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA in his first full season following elbow-ligament replacement surgery on Sept. 3, 2010. He struck out 197 in 159 1-3 innings.
The Nationals had said Wednesday's start at the New York Mets likely would be his final appearance of the season. John Lannan will make that start and remain in the starting rotation.