Tigers 4, Nationals 3
No one on the Washington Nationals cared about Stephen
Strasburg’s line on Friday. They were just glad he was OK.
Strasburg stayed on the mound after Prince Fielder’s liner went
off his left hand, pitching six innings in a 4-3 loss to the
The 24-year-old right-hander was hit in the fleshy part of his
hand, just below his glove. The play happened in the fourth
”I thought I could have caught it,” Strasburg said. ”It just
took a while for it to sink in that it hit me. It kind of got numb.
I just shook it out and it was just tender after that.”
After shaking off the injury and being cleared by team trainers,
he struck out two of the next three batters.
Manager Davey Johnson said he was just glad it was Strasburg’s
glove hand that was hit. He also said Strasburg did not have to
talk him into letting him stay in the game after he was examined by
a team trainer.
”It was a scare, no doubt about it,” Johnson said.
Strasburg, making his sixth spring start, gave up three runs and
seven hits. He struck out five and walked one.
Matt Tuiasosopo homered in the second inning for Detroit, and
Victor Martinez and Fielder each singled in a run in the fifth.
”I thought I pitched pretty well,” Strasburg said. ”I got
weak contact, it was just the story of (the game). They singled me
to death besides that home run early. That’s baseball.”
After letting Strasburg throw 89 pitches against Detroit,
Johnson said he likely will limit him to around 70 in his final
spring start on Wednesday so he doesn’t overwork him before the
start of the season.
Strasburg, meanwhile, is ready to go.
”I think my arm felt great today,” he said. ”My stamina is
there. I felt as strong and as loose as I was in the first inning
in the sixth. I definitely could have gone back out there for the
rest of the game, to be honest. It was a good sign. It’s going in
the right direction.”
Drew Smyly allowed one run and four hits in five innings for
Detroit. He is competing with Rick Porcello for the fifth spot in
It was a much better performance than his previous start against
Washington, when he was tagged for five runs and seven hits on
”You don’t take it kindly, especially when you’ve got to face
the same team in five days,” Smyly said. ”You’ve got to make
adjustments quick, or else the same thing will happen.”
Smyly focused on keeping his delivery more compact on Friday and
got the results he wanted. He retired the first 10 batters he faced
and finished with five strikeouts and no walks.
Ian Desmond homered for Washington’s only run against the
”Sometimes, I kind of fly open, trying to throw a pitch too
good or too hard and leave it up in the zone,” Smyly said. ”I was
just really working on staying in and making sure I make a good
pitch down in the zone.”
Though he said he tries not to think about it between starts,
Smyly is eager to find out what manager Jim Leyland decides to do
about the rotation.
”I guess I’m just as eager as you guys,” he said. ”I guess it
will happen sooner or later. I don’t make that call, so all I can
do is keep trying to pitch well.”
NOTES: Rafael Soriano was scheduled to pitch, but Johnson said
the reliever was still feeling the effects a root canal on
Thursday. ”He’s recovering from a long day in the dentist’s
chair,” Johnson said. ”I sympathize with him.” Soriano was
expected to pitch Saturday against the Mets, but his name was
scratched off the Nationals’ travel roster. Johnson said the closer
will instead throw in a minor league game at the team’s training
complex. … The Nationals optioned RHP Cole Kimball to Triple-A
Syracuse and re-assigned RHP Jeremy Accardo to their minor league
camp. … LHP J.C. Romero, who signed a minor league contract with
Washington on Friday, pitched in five games for Puerto Rico in the
World Baseball Classic. Romero gave up two runs in 4 2-3 innings.
… Nationals OF Roger Bernadina made a spectacular catch in the
seventh inning to rob Jordan Lennerton. He received a standing
ovation from much of the home crowd. … Leyland said there was a
chance OF Andy Dirks (bruised right knee) could play Saturday
against the New York Yankees, but it was unlikely OF Avisail Garcia
(bruised right heel) would be available. … Leyland said he is
leaning a certain way on which pitchers will comprise his bullpen,
but he’s not revealing anything just yet. ”I have a pretty good
idea how it might play out, but I can’t say that for sure yet,” he
said. . Martinez and Fielder both had two hits and an RBI for the