ATLANTA — Stephen Strasburg was pulled from his start on Saturday after just three innings due to what the team is calling “heat-related issues.”
Strasburg left the game after giving up three earned runs on two hits and four walks. He struck out four and left the game on the hook for the loss after losing a two-run lead.
It was announced in the pressbox to be 104 degrees at gametime here at Turner Field and a thermometer shown at field level was pushing 120 degrees. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the hottest game in Nationals’ (2005-present) history.
Strasburg appeared to labor from the get-go, walking Michael Bourn and Martin Prado to leadoff the game and moving very slowly between pitches as the innings wore on.
He threw 67 pitches in the three innings, walking Bourn and Prado again in the third and paying for it that time when Jason Heyward ripped an RBI-double to left field, Freddie Freeman drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to center and Dan Uggla, who is now 7-for-13 with eight RBI in his career against Strasburg, hit an RBI-double to left.
After that half inning had ended, Strasburg came to bat looking extremely fatigued and with his uniform appearing to be soaked in sweat. He did not swing the bat once but Braves starter Mike Minor walked him on six pitches, forcing Strasburg to run the bases. Danny Espinosa flew out to center field one batter later and Strasburg walked off the field.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson then came out of the dugout to speak with home plate umpire Marvin Hudson and signaled to the bullpen where right-hander Chien-Ming Wang had just begun to warm.
Johnson was appealing to Hudson to allow for Wang to have an unlimited amount of time to warm-up as the Nationals had pulled Strasburg with a physical issue. Shortly thereafter the Nationals announced the “heat-related” symptoms.
More information after the game.