Assuming there are no setbacks health-wise, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will return to the majors and make his first start with the Nationals on September 6th, at home versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to a source close to the Nationals.
Strasburg will pitch tomorrow night, the 17th, for the Hagerstown Suns. The Nationals want to keep him on a regular 5-day schedule, so he would then likely pitch for the Suns again on the 22nd. August 27th would be a start for the AAA Syracuse Chiefs, and then Strasburg’s final tuneup would be on September 1st, pitching for the Harrisburg Senators. Nationals brass have been careful to make sure he pitches in a “controlled” environment (read: home ballparks) during his minor league rehab starts.
The schedule sets up nicely for the Nationals, as they would get Strasburg’s first three major league starts of the season at home: September 6th vs the Dodgers, September 11th vs the Astros, and September 16th vs the Marlins. In fact, the Nationals have stopped letting season ticket holders redeem their Red Carpet Rewards (additional free tickets) for those specific three games, instead hoping to monetize Strasburg’s return and sell out the stadium. It should be an electric first night for Strasburg at Nats Park on September 6th.
There’s not much more that can be said about last night other than Wow. Between the 14k, zero walk performance and the amazing electricity of the crowd, it was a night to remember. I can’t wait for Strasburg’s next start, and especially his next home start. I can only hope it will be another sellout, or close. It gives you hope of what it can and will be like when we get a few more pieces of the puzzle in place and become a playoff-caliber team. In 5+ seasons of Nats baseball, I’ve never seen the crowd hang on every pitch like they did last night. We can’t expect 14ks every time he goes out there, especially once teams gather some scouting reports on him. But it certainly looks like he is the real deal. Go Nats!
It’s a great day to be a Nats Fan…4 games over .500, Bernadina possibly finding his groove, Strasburg pitching a no-hitter through 6. Gotta love it. I realized that I hadn’t written a post in while when I read today that Jason Marquis is going to have surgery to repair bone chips in his elbow. The I thought, hey, I called that out in my last post 3 weeks ago. I’m still kind of amazed they let him waste 3 weeks trying to cure it with rest. As Rizzo was quoted as saying, “It didn’t work, so it set us back for about three weeks.” C’mon Mike, you’re better than that. I’m sure he’s mad at himself for letting Marquis convince him he could work through it.
Back to Strasburg, if they keep him pitching every 5th day, that would potentially have him starting on July 6 at home vs the Reds. Expect a sellout at the ballpark.