Stephen Strasburg has been scratched from tomorrow's scheduled start after having trouble getting loose when throwing earlier today, manager Davey Johnson said after tonight's 5-2 loss to the Braves.
Strasburg had been scratched from last Friday's start due to right forearm tightness, and the Nationals had pushed him back to Thursday, hoping that some extra time would allow him to get over that forearm discomfort.
Things had been progressing well over the last few days, but when Strasburg reported the issue with getting loose this afternoon, Johnson decided to push his ace right-hander back two more days.
"He just had a little bit of, he felt a little something there, but he wanted to pitch tomorrow," Johnson said. "I said, 'Well, no way. I got guys on full rest. I'll pitch them and you can be in the lineup for Saturday.' So it's my decision.
"But he didn't get loose, he just felt it was hard to get loose."
Gio Gonzalez will start for the Nationals tomorrow on normal rest. Jordan Zimmermann will go on Friday, then Strasburg on Saturday.
"I mean he tried to talk me out of it," Johnson said of Strasburg. "I said no. Play catch a couple more days, and I don't want to take any chances with him.
"He didn't feel anything (in his throwing sessions this week). He came in, they tested him, everything was fine. He wanted to go. But in my book, I don't want to have anything bothering you the day before you pitch."
If Strasburg does indeed start Saturday, he'll have gone 13 days in between outings. Despite the multiple issues with Strasburg's forearm over the last week, Johnson says he's confident the righty will be able to go Saturday.
"Well, it'll be fine because he'll be playing catch and running and stuff," Johnson said. "He had a great bullpen (on Monday). It's just not worth the risks. He wanted to go tomorrow, I said no."