Monday, July 26, 2021

Washington Nationals’ Pitcher and 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg Exits The Game in the 2nd Inning due to Tightness (Updated: Strasburg Placed on the 10-Day IL)

Stephen Strasburg can’t catch a break. After returning from the IL, Strasburg exits Tuesday's game against the Braves with some more neck tightness

BREAKING NEWS 5:3pm EST: The Washington Nationals just announced that they have placed Stephen Strasburg on the 10-IL due to a neck strain that occurred on Tuesday night’s game.

The Washington Nationals recalled right-handed pitcher Kyle McGowin from Triple-A Rochester 

Man, the Washington Nationals can not catch a break this summer. Even though they won against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night, the team had some bad news to deal with before.

Washington Nationals right hander and 2019 World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg exited the game in the second inning due to tightness in his neck. This is obviously an area of concern as Strasburg is coming off the IL from an earlier injury also due to tightness in his neck.

There were some early signs of trouble for the right-hander right from the start of the game, when he walked leadoff batter Ronald Acuña Jr. on four pitches. After that at-bat, Manager Davey Martinez and athletic trainer Paul Lessard made a visit to the mound after both of them noticed that Strasburg was trying to move his neck, and after a discussion, Strasburg told them that he wanted to try to throw through the stiffness.  

(Related Article: Perspective: What Should the Nationals Now Do with Stephen Strasburg)

In his postgame press conference, Martinez discussed the events in the top of the first: “He tried to pitch through it,” Martinez said. “I told Paul, I said, ‘I don’t want to see him going through it. Let’s get him out and see what’s wrong with him, and we’ll have to figure it out.’ But he couldn’t get it loose.” 

Strasburg’s start officially came to an end in the second inning after squaring up to bunt instead of swinging, when he took a 109.6 mph comebacker from William Contreras off his glove. Strasburg then walked off the mound after a visit and was replaced by Austin Voth, who had already been warming up just in case of this situation. By the end of Strasburg’s night, he allowed one hit, one run, two walks and recorded one strikeout in his fifth start of the season. He threw 14 of his 30 pitches for strikes, and his velocity topped at 91.6 mph, less than his season average of 92.1 mph. 

Martinez discussed the decision to remove Strasburg in the bottom of the second after the comeback: “The line drive was hit back at him, and at that point, I said, ‘This is not fair to him. It’s not,’” Martinez said. “He waved us off. But I told him, ‘we’ve got to be smart.’” “When you have to take someone out of the game, especially one of your starting pitchers, I’m always concerned until I know what’s going on,” manager Dave Martinez said. “It’s concerning.” It turns out that Strasburg has a right trapezius tightness and has an MRI planned for today.

What is a tightness in the right trapezius? After a Google search, tightness in the right trapezius is basically tightness in your upper neck muscles. Hopefully, after today’s MRI we will have more information, and we are hoping that there is nothing more serious to the injury.  

Be sure to check out our Twitter feed during the day for up-to-the minute updates as they become available on the results of Strasburg’s MRI.

Do you ever want to relieve trapezius tightness? According to, “Simply rest your hand there for just slightly more pressure. This very gently stretches your upper trapezius. Breathe as you sit here for at least 30 seconds. Gently release this side, and then ease your left ear toward your left shoulder and complete the stretch on the other side, breathing deeply through it.”

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