With perhaps the smallest crowd on hand for a rehab start of his so far, but the large crowd of Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner and General Manager Mike Rizzo on hand, pitcher Stephen Strasburg completed his fourth rehab start since Tommy John surgery for the Hagerstown Suns. He showed much improvement from his last start where he only lasted 1 2/3 innings and gave up five runs.
The Nationals phenom went three innings giving up two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one batter, hit a batter and struck out six. Throughout his time in the game he topped out at 98 mph throwing 60 pitches (five less than the expected 65 limit) with 37 of them going for strikes. From reports coming from the game his velocity looked good and he was strong, but took some time to look truly sharp.
The first batter Strasburg faced was Jurickson Profar, one of the top shortstop prospects in the minors and Strasburg plugged him with a pitch. In Profar's next at-bat Strasburg struck him out after getting Profar to foul off four times. Strasburg also allowed four stolen bases to the Hickory Crawdads.
Certainly far from a perfect outing, but it was a lot better than his last start and make the Nationals and Nats fans breath a little more sigh of relief.