(WASHINGTON) — Stephen Strasburg is nearing the end of the line. According to his manager Davey Johnson, the Nationals phenom will have two more starts this season for the NL East leading Nats.
Strasburg threw six shutout innings and struck out nine in Nationals victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, and Johnson acknowledged his ace is nearly done for the season.
“I think two starts, unless I let him pitch 10 (innings) in the next one out, which I’m not going to do,” Johnson said. “I think his last start will be on the 12th.”
The team has been insistent on shutting down Strasburg this year around 160 innings pitched to protect his arm following Tommy John surgery in 2010. He has pitched 159 1-3 innings this season.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said that they will sit down with Strasburg soon to discuss it.
“I don’t think he’s going to fight me on it, I think he’s going to be unhappy about it, I know he’ll be unhappy about it. He is an ultimate competitor, but we’ve taken that out of his hands,” he said. “We’ve made (a decision) five months ago and we’re going to stick to it.”
Despite the prospect of being shut down in the middle of a pennant race, Strasburg is trying to remain upbeat. “I’m in with these guys. We still have a long way to go. I’m going to fight with them to the end,” he said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Madison Park, Keith Allen and Andreas Preuss, CNN