The Stephen Strasburg Shutdown Watch was visited upon the St. Louis Cardinals' road-trip ending loss against the Washington Nationals Sunday, and—well, as you might expect, he didn't exactly look over-exerted. Strasburg struck out nine Cardinals and allowed two hits, missing out on the win after Sean Burnett allowed a game-tying home run to Daniel Descalso.
At this point it looks like the Nationals won't be swayed from their decision to shut down Strasburg—as soon as September 12, apparently—but his continued dominance as his season comes to an early end has to be raising a few lingering doubts on the part of the Nationals braintrust. If not existential doubts about the policy to limit Strasburg's innings, I have to wonder whether they're wondering, again, why they didn't skip him a few times more, or spend some time in a six-man rotation.
Because however easy it might appear to be, lately, to shut down the Cardinals' ostensibly high-flying offense, Strasburg proved again Sunday that he's the kind of weapon most postseason contenders would love to build around come NLDS time.