Stephen Strasburg's first outing in the 2013 Grapefruit League got off to a rocky start Saturday afternoon in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Operating on a 45-pitch limit, Strasburg couldn't even get past the first two New York Mets batters unscathed. After Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off the bottom of the first with a single to center field, Ruben Tejada lined a 93 mile-per-hour fastball over the left-center field wall to put New York up 2-0.
Strasburg threw 31 pitches in the first inning, but retired the Mets in order on 11 pitches in the second inning before giving way to Craig Stammen, the first of five Washington relievers to pitch in the Nats' 5-3 loss.
In 2012, Strasburg posted a 15-6 record with a 3.16 ERA in 28 starts and 159.1 innings before he was shut down in early September.
CSN Washington's Nationals beat reporter Mark Zuckerman tweeted the following thoughts about Strasburg's outing.
31 pitches for Strasburg in 1st inning, 28 of them fastballs ranging from 93-96 mph. Not exactly pinpoint command. — Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) February 23, 2013
Strasburg gets a quick 1-2-3 2nd to end his day. Final line: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 42 pitches, 24 strikes. — Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) February 23, 2013
Strasburg's pitch selection today: 36 fastballs, 5 curveballs, 1 changeup. Obvious what he was working on in 1st start of spring. — Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) February 23, 2013
Strasburg described 1st inning as "a bit of a debacle." Noted he always struggles in 1st game of spring. — Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) February 23, 2013
Washington will resume its spring training schedule Sunday against the Miami Marlins.