Stephen Strasburg’s second start of the season lasted less than one inning Friday night, as the longtime ace (well, they have Max Scherzer too, but Strasburg still qualifies) was forced to leave injured after just 16 pitches.

They weren’t great pitches, either; Strasburg threw just seven strikes (giving up a home run and recording two outs) before exiting. There’s no report yet on the injury itself, though Strasburg has barely pitched in 2020 thanks to a nerve problem in his throwing hand.

Via the Associated Press:

There was no immediate word from the Nationals on the type of injury that forced him off the mound during the first inning of a game against the Orioles.

Strasburg got a late start on the season because of a nerve issue in his right hand. This was his second start, the first coming last Sunday against Baltimore.

Before Friday’s game, Washington manager Dave Martinez spoke about taking it slow with Strasburg, who went 5-0 in the postseason for the 2019 World Series champions.

“Based on our conversations with him, he feels like he can work through this injury,” Martinez said. “But I want to be smart, I really do. I’ve got to be smart, not just for right now but for the future. He’s a big part of our future, a big part of what we do here. So we want to make sure we take care of him.”

This obviously sucks for the Nationals and their fans, and fans of baseball in general. Strasburg is coming off of a tremendous 2019 season for the World Series champs, and with such a shortened season any time missed is going to be even more important.

Hopefully he can get healthy again quickly, because otherwise this is going to be a lost season.

[Associated Press]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.