How close? Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post quotes manager Davey Johnson:
With September arriving this weekend and Strasburg sitting at 150 1/3 innings, the Nationals ace’s season will end within a handful of starts. Johnson said he and the Nationals have “a pretty firm plan” in place for Strasburg’s season to end.
“He’s probably got two or three,” Johnson said. “I said something to him on the plane last night – ‘You got a few more to go.’ So he doesn’t think going out there thinking that, ‘This may be my last one.’ And no, I’m not going to drag it out and give him seven days between starts, either.”
Strasburg had a rough outing Tuesday against the Marlins, allowing nine hits and seven runs (five earned) in five innings. Many have weighed in on this issue, most saying the Nats are doing the right thing. And once it’s done, it’s done:
Johnson brushed off any possible blowback he would receive from Strasburg.
“I’m the one that puts his name on the lineup card,” Johnson said. “It ain’t happening after the innings limit.”
Will the Nats regret this in the postseason, presuming they continue on their present course and make it? Only time will tell.