ATLANTA - The description of Stephen Strasburg’s injury that Davey Johnson provided earlier today was a little vague, so we got an update on Strasburg’s condition following tonight’s game from Nationals head trainer Lee Kuntz.
Kuntz clarified that an MRI earlier today revealed that Strasburg has a Grade 1 strain to his right lat, down low, near where the muscle meets the oblique. According to Kuntz, the injury is not actually to Strasburg’s oblique, which was the initial diagnosis.
As strains go, a Grade 1 is considered the least severe classification. So that’s a little good news on a night where good news is hard to come by.
Henry Rodriguez got the loss in tonight’s 2-1 Braves win here at Turner Field after he retired just one of the four hitters he faced in the bottom of the 10th inning. The one hitter he did set down came when Ramiro Pena popped up a bunt.
Ten of Rodriguez’s 15 pitches were balls, including the first four he threw, which put on the eventual game-winning run to lead off the ninth inning. Rodriguez was asked after the game whether he feels nerves came into play when he entered a tie game in the 10th.
“He say he is not nervous,” said fellow reliever Fernando Abad, who translated for Rodriguez. “He came into the game and he tried to get three outs.”
After Pena’s popped-up bunt, Rodriguez allowed pinch-runner Jordan Schafer to steal second base with ease, putting Schafer in scoring position with just one out. Schafer marked the ninth runner that has tried to steal on Rodriguez this season. All have reached safely.
Rodriguez said he was aware of Schafer’s speed and attempted to keep tabs on the Braves outfielder at first.
“That’s what he tried to do,” said Abad, again translating for Rodriguez. “When a man is on base, he focus to the hitter and don’t worry about the runner. Today the situation, tie game, he worried about the hitter and he wanted to do everything perfect. He made a pitch, and they got lucky.”
As for the pitch to Upton that led to the game-winning run, Rodriguez said he executed the way he wanted to.
His 101 mph fastball was down in the zone, and Upton lifted it to shallow right, setting off a wild celebration.
“He’s lucky,” Rodriguez said in English. “He got me.”