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Strasburg departs in 2nd inning with new ailment

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Strasburg departs in 2nd inning with new ailment

Stephen Strasburg’s latest abbreviated start was the result of a new (though potentially related) physical ailment to the upper right back discomfort that plagued him earlier this month: Tightness in his left trapezius muscle.

Manager Matt Williams revealed this newest injury to reporters in Cincinnati following the Nationals’ 5-2 loss Friday night, but offered no definitive plan moving forward.

“We don’t know at this point,” Williams said. “We’ll have to see how he is tomorrow and evaluate. I don’t know, it’s the other side. We’ll see what he shows up with tomorrow.”

Strasburg totaled only 16 pitches at Great American Ball Park before departing with head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz, clearly in discomfort as he threw in the bottom of the second inning. He faced five batters in total, giving up an opposite-field solo homer to Joey Votto and a single to Todd Frazier in the first inning, then walking Brayan Peña on five pitches to open the second.

During that Peña at-bat, Strasburg’s mechanics looked out of whack. He fell off the mound well more to the left than normal, then tried to maneuver his neck and shoulders after multiple pitches.

“He came out of the bullpen good,” Williams said. “He went through the first inning good. Joey hit a 97 mph fastball down and in for a homer, and it was a pretty good pitch. But then the second inning, he went out there and it started to tighten up on him.”

This ailment comes 24 days after Strasburg departed a start against the Marlins with discomfort under his right shoulder blade.

“This is new,” Williams said. “It’s new. It’s left side. It’s in his neck. So we’ll have to address it. Nothing as of right now until tomorrow.”

Whether the two ailments are connected or not, this much is obvious: Strasburg has not been himself for a good month. He has now failed to complete the fourth inning in four of his last five starts, giving up 20 runs (18 earned) and 26 hits in only 16 innings.

Overall, Strasburg now has a 6.55 ERA in 10 starts.

MORE NATIONALS: Strasburg leaves after 16 pitches, Reds beat Nationals 5-2

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In wake of the Eaton-Frazier dilemma, what are the biggest former teammate beefs in sports?

In wake of the Eaton-Frazier dilemma, what are the biggest former teammate beefs in sports?

Some sports beef just never go away.

On Monday, former Chicago White Sox teammates Adam Eaton and Todd Frazier had to be separated during the third inning of the New York Mets 5-3 victory over the Nationals. The two have never liked each other, and their beef with one another extends as far back as 2016. 

D.C. Sports Live's Julia Donaldson and Travis Thomas discuss what other teammate beefs in recent memory compare with the saga between Eaton and Frazier.

Donaldson initially brought up the beef between former Pittsburgh Steelers teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown. The two were very critical of each other vocally to the media throughout their final season together in Pittsburgh. Their relationship reached a point of no repair, as the Steelers shipped their All-Pro receiver to the Oakland Raiders in March.

For Thomas, the first teammate beef that came to mind was the incident between former Nationals teammates Bryce Harper and Jonathan Papelbon. It's hard to forget the image of Papelbon choking out Harper for not hustling and running out the bases.

Sticking with baseball, another teammate beef from recent memory is the everlasting dislike between Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants. The two were teammates from 1997-2002, and their dislike for another was very much in the public eye. Their hatred for another reached a peak in June 2002, when the two of them had to be separated from another, and Kent publicly said he wanted to leave the team. He was then dealt to Houston in the offseason. 

Other former teammate sports beefs that come to mind are Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal when they were teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers. The two stars both wanted to be the clear main No. 1 option, which led the Lakers to trade Shaq to the Miami Heat. The trade ended up working out for both parties, as O'Neal won a championship in Miami, while Bryant led the Lakers to two more championships in 2009 and 2010.

What other teammate sports beefs come to mind?

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Mike Rizzo: Nationals are 'aggressively' trying to re-sign Anthony Rendon

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Mike Rizzo: Nationals are 'aggressively' trying to re-sign Anthony Rendon

The Washington Nationals have every intention of trying to reach a long-term deal with Anthony Rendon, GM Mike Rizzo said, looking to quell concern after a report Tuesday that he may be on his way out after the 2019 season.

"Anthony Rendon is a guy that we drafted, developed, signed and watch turn into a star in front of our eyes," Rizzo said on The Sports Junkies Wednesday. "He’s a guy that we’d like to have long-term. We’re certainly going to be aggressive and try to make that happen and hopefully, it will."

Nationals fans are growing anxious after the front office couldn't get a deal done with Bryce Harper, hoping a repeat wouldn't happen with Rendon who has had a breakout career with the Nats.

"We have shown that we’re not afraid to sign our own players, we’re not afraid to sign free agent players, and we’re not afraid to spend money on stars of the game and I don’t think Anthony Rendon would be any different," Rizzo said.

Grant Paulsen said on Tuesday on 106.7 The Fan's "Grant and Danny Show," that he believes the Nationals have missed their opportunity to re-sign Rendon.

"Here's something I heard from someone who recently talked to Scott Boras," Paulsen said. "Apparently, he told that person that the Nationals already missed the boat on getting a deal done with Anthony Rendon." 

Rizzo and the Nationals have already offered Rendon a contract extension in late March, to which he turned down. Since then, nothing has come to fruition. 

"It also takes two to get a deal done," Rizzo said. "We're aggressively trying to sign Anthony Rendon. We’d love to have him here as a National long-term.”

The Nationals look to bounce back after two straight losses to the New York Mets tonight at 7:10 p.m.

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