Stephen Strasburg Lit Up In Third Rehab Start For Hagerstown

Stephen Strasburg's third rehab start did not go well. The Nationals' phenom allowed the first four hitters to reach base and departed having given up five runs in one and two-thirds innings.

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Stephen Strasburg Calls Third Rehab Start 'A Good Learning Experience'

Stephen Strasburg looked pretty good/almost dominant in his first two rehab starts for the Hagerstown Suns and Potomac Nationals, but his third rehab start on Wednesday was a completely different story. Strasburg lasted just 1.2 innings, giving up five earned runs. It wasn't pretty. But while he is trying to work his way back from Tommy John surgery, success in these games may not be defined by his performance, just that he is performing at all. According to Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington, Strasburg thinks a start like this can be a good thing.

"Sometimes it's good to have games like this," Strasburg said. "Because you need to get knocked around a little bit to see what you're doing wrong. I think I learned a lot from this outing. . ."I wanted to go three innings, no matter what. But in the big picture, it's all about pitch counts right now. It's all about just getting your work in. I'm lucky enough to be in an organization where they take really good care of you. For right now, I thought it was a good learning experience."

Strasburg even gave a little bit of a smile while he was delivering these comments, so he really doesn't seem to be so bothered by the whole thing, even though I'm sure he would have like to pitch a little bit better. But the good news about Strasburg's rehab is that it is consistent. He'll have another shot in five days to get back on track.

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Stephen Strasburg's Third Rehab Start Lasts Just 1 2/3 Innings

Stephen Strasburg's third rehab start did not go well, to say the least. The Nationals' phenom, returning to low-Single-A Harrisburg after pitching in Potomac, was lit up by Lexington, departing after just one and two-thirds innings.

Overall, Strasburg surrendered five runs on four hits with two walks and one wild pitch in that span. Twenty-nine of Strasburg's pitches were strikes, but only a few were swings and misses. Most were either fouled or hit. Strasburg did strike out three hitters, but also allowed the first four runners to reach base and threw a total of 33 strikes in the first inning.

It remains unclear whether this is a legitimate setback for Strasburg or it's just a bad start. The latter seems more likely, seeing as Strasburg appears to be healthy even after getting lit up. It remains to be seen what happens next for the young phenom still recovering from Tommy John surgery.

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Stephen Strasburg To Make Third Rehab Start For Hagerstown Wednesday Night

Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg is set to make his third rehab start Wednesday night after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow last September. He will throw for low-Single A Hagerstown in a game against Lexington at 7:05 p.m.

Strasburg has pitched two rehab starts in the Washington Nationals' minor league system, one for the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns, and one for the high Single-A Potomac Nationals. In the first start for the Suns, Strasburg went one and two-thirds innings, allowing three hits and one earned run while striking out four. In the next start for Potomac, Strasburg went three innings, allowing two hits and striking out five. 

Strasburg will be back with Hagerstown on Wednesday because the Suns are playing a home game. He will stay in the game until he either throws 60 pitches or completes four innings, whichever comes first.

The first overall pick in Major League Baseball's amateur draft in 2009, Strasburg, 23, went 5-3 last season with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched over 12 starts. His season was cut short by the elbow injury.

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Stephen Strasburg To Make Third Rehab Start In Hagerstown On Wednesday

Stephen Strasburg will make his third rehab start in the same place he made his first rehab start: Hagerstown. The Hagerstown Suns have announced that Strasburg "is scheduled" to return to pitch in Hagerstown on Wednesday. The Suns are scheduled to play the Lexington Legends at 7:05 p.m. at home.

The return to Hagerstown was widely expected, because the Nationals had expressed the desire of having Strasburg pitch in a home environment. The only minor-league affiliates at home this week were Hagerstown and AAA-Syracuse, and Strasburg probably isn't ready to pitch in AAA yet.

Strasburg will progressively raise his workload, throwing four innings and/or 60 pitches this time according to Byron Kerr of MASN. Strasburg threw two innings in his first rehab start in Hagerstown and three innings in his second rehab start in Potomac.

For more on Strasburg's return and the Nationals in general check out SB Nation's Nationals blog Federal Baseball.

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