Stephen Strasburg took his first loss of the season on Tuesday against the Padres, allowing four earned runs in just four innings, his shortest outing since September 23, 2011. Strasburg lasted at least six innings in his only other seven starts this season and you wouldn’t think the 13-24 Padres would be the team to finally get to him.
As it turned out, maybe it wasn’t just the Padres getting to Strasburg during the game. Following the game, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post offered what might be the most logical excuse as to why Strasburg struggled:
An unusual postgame revelation: Davey volunteered that Strasburg got “hot stuff” in “the wrong place” and “I don’t know how it got there.”
— Adam Kilgore (@AdamKilgoreWP) May 15, 2012
That ‘hot stuff’ is the Icy Hot type heating ointment that is supposed to be applied to sore joints, typically a pitcher’s elbow or shoulder. If you’ve ever used it, you know it truly is hot and provides quite the burning sensation. While Roger Clemens didn’t seem to mind it on his crotch, any other time it winds up down there, it’s probably the result of a classic baseball hijinks. Kilgore says this wasn’t a prank on Strasburg’s starting day, which would have been stupidly cruel and probably red-slip worthy, but I’d say watch out for that 19-year-old hanging around in the clubhouse.