Nationals suffer major loss days before Phillies face them for first time


Days before the first Phillies-Nationals meeting of the season, the Nats received the bad news that Stephen Strasburg would require season-ending surgery on his wrist.

Strasburg was diagnosed this week with carpal tunnel syndrome. He has pitched only twice this season, on Aug. 9 and Aug. 14 against the Orioles. His season ends with an 0-1 record and 10.80 ERA.

The Nationals re-signed Strasburg the same week the Phillies signed Zack Wheeler in December. Washington brought back its World Series MVP on a seven-year, $245 million contract. Strasburg had maybe the best contract year ever, going 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA in his healthiest big-league season since 2014, then having a historic postseason run. Strasburg went 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA in six games (five starts) in the 2019 playoffs.

It led to another big payday for Strasburg, who received more than twice as much as Wheeler ($118 million). 

The Phillies have not faced the Nationals yet this season. The teams meet Tuesday through Thursday in D.C., then back in Philly for four games the following week. The final series is Sept. 21-23, the Phillies' second-to-last series of the season.

While the Phils are slated to face both Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin — who have a combined 3.86 ERA in 10 starts — in the upcoming three-game set, they won't have to worry about Strasburg, who has been the best of the three against them.

In 27 career starts against the Phillies, Strasburg is 14-2 with a 2.57 ERA. The Phils have defeated him one time in the last seven years.