Strasburg leaves game after being hit by comebacker

Stephen Strasburg gets a mound visit in the first inning against the Braves

Stephen Strasburg exited the Nationals’ game against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday in the second inning after a line drive appeared to strike him on the wrist of his left arm.

Though the glancing blow didn’t appear to cause an apparent injury, Strasburg’s velocity was down early on and he had already received a visit from a trainer before the line drive.

The Nationals’ right-hander was making just his fifth start of the season after missing five weeks with shoulder inflammation. Tuesday marked his third outing since being activated off the Injured List, but his performance was troubling from the start. Strasburg’s fastest pitch was clocked at 91.6 mph and he threw only seven of his 30 pitches over 90. His fastball averaged 93.8 mph in 2019, his last full season.

A trainer visited Strasburg on the mound when he was seen shaking his arm after throwing a pitch. He remained in the game until Braves catcher William Contreras hit a line drive 109.6 mph right back at him in the bottom of the second. After speaking with Nationals manager Davey Martinez for a few moments, Strasburg walked off the field and straight into the tunnel. He was relieved by Austin Voth.

If Strasburg does land back on the IL, it would mark the 14th time that he’s done so since first reaching the majors in 2010. The Nationals signed him to a seven-year, $245 million contract after he helped lead them to a World Series title in 2019. However, he’s appeared in just seven games since signing that deal in part due to carpal tunnel neuritis that required surgery and limited him to two starts in 2020.