Nationals’ Strasburg to Make Two More Starts Before Shutdown

Stephen Strasburg will make two more starts for the Washington Nationals before being shut down for the rest of the season.

Strasburg’s final start for the Nationals, whose 81-52 record is the best in Major League Baseball, will be Sept. 12 against the Mets in New York, manager Davey Johnson said. He’ll also pitch Sept. 7 at home against the Miami Marlins.

The Nationals have planned to limit Strasburg’s innings in his first season since undergoing ligament transplant surgery in his pitching elbow two years ago. He’s thrown 156 1/3 innings so far, with a 15-6 record, 2.94 earned run average and a National League-leading 195 strikeouts.

If the Nationals make the playoffs -- they lead the Atlanta Braves by 6 1/2 games in the NL East -- they’ll probably use starting pitchers Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Edwin Jackson and either Ross Detwiler or John Lannan. Strasburg may be replaced by Lannan in the rotation for the rest of the regular season following his Sept. 12 start.

Strasburg pitched six shutout innings yesterday in a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing two hits and issuing one walk while striking out nine batters.

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