Stephen Strasburg threw his final pitches of the season in a loss to the Miami… (Greg Fiume / Getty Images )
The debates can continue, but the Washington Nationals have finally and officially shut down ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg for the season.
That's what Manager Davey Johnson, citing the mental toll on the former No. 1 overall draft pick, told reporters on Saturday morning after Strasburg, who missed most of last season after an elbow injury and reconstructive surgery, had a poor outing against the Miami Marlins on Friday night.
Strasburg, who finishes the season with a 15-6 record and a 3.16 earned-run average, lasted a season-low three innings against the Marlins, giving up five runs on six hits, including two home runs, while walking three and striking out two.
Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo maintained all season that Strasburg would pitch between 150 to 180 innings after having surgery in September 2010. He has thrown 159 1/3 innings this season.
"I just told Stephen that his year is over," said Johnson, who added that Strasburg was emotional about his season ending but that Rizzo and pitching coach Steve McCatty agreed with the move.
"He's had a great year. I know what he's growing through," Johnson said. "The media hype on this thing has been unbelievable. I feel it's as hard for him as it would be anybody to get mentally, totally committed in the ballgame. And he's reached his innings limit. So we can get past this and talk about other things for a change.
"He's one heck of a pitcher, and he's a heck of a competitor. I know he's been struggling with it for weeks. I know he doesn't sleep good thinking about it."
The Nationals, who are leading the NL East and look like a championship contender, had said that Strasburg's next start on Wednesday against the New York Mets would be his last. John Lannan will be added to the rotation and make that start..
Associated Press contributed to this report.
Brazil soccer players criticize booing fans
Al Pacino to play Joe Paterno in upcoming movie?
Man steals baseball from fourth grader at Marlins game