- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 28, 2009

PHOENIX | Bouncing back from a ragged outing last week, Stephen Strasburg was dominant over 4 1/3 innings Tuesday in his third Arizona Fall League start.

The Washington Nationals’ top prospect, pitching for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, allowed one run and one hit to beat the Surprise Rafters. The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the fifth and struck out five, flashing a fastball that reached 100 mph three times in the first inning.

It was an impressive performance for Strasburg, who was roughed up for eight runs in 2 2/3 innings Thursday against Peoria, serving up three homers in the process.

“The thing about being a pitcher and something that I learned from being a closer at [San Diego State] my freshman year is that, to be a good pitcher, you have to have a short-term memory,” he said. “I just went out there today and tried to pitch my game.”

Strasburg threw 42 of 67 pitches for strikes and drew polite applause from the sparse crowd of 329 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium upon departing in the fifth. The Rafters had not scored to that point, but reliever Josh Wilkie (also a Nationals prospect) allowed an RBI triple, and the run was charged to Strasburg.

In three fall league outings, Strasburg is 2-1 with a 6.97 ERA. Not counting his second start, he has allowed one run on three hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Note - The Nationals added two more officials to their front office. Kasey McKeon, son of former big league manager Jack McKeon, will serve as director of player procurement after a seven-year stint with Colorado. Jay Robertson, a veteran scout of 19 seasons with Cleveland and Texas, will be a special assistant to general manager Mike Rizzo.