Stephen Strasburg didn't look like Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday night against the Padres.
The 23-year-old suffered his first loss of the season after allowing a season-high four earned runs in just four innings of work — his shortest outing of the season.
Typically, there are many things you can point to as reasons for getting touched up as a starter; lack of command, control issues, leaving balls out over the plate or just plain not having the right stuff.
Strasburg certainly didn't have the "right" stuff, but he did have the "hot stuff," according to Nationals manager Davey Johnson. The only problem was that the "hot stuff" wasn't exactly applied in the correct location.
"[Strasburg] got hot stuff in the wrong place," Davey told reporters after the game. "I don't know how it got there."
Johnson seems to be implying that Strasburg had gotten muscle rub — perhaps Icy Hot — on his groin area, which could have affected him on the mound on Tuesday. It's unclear exactly how it happened, or even if that's exactly what Johnson meant, but Strasburg didn't feel like discussing the issue further.
"You know, I'm going to keep that in the clubhouse," Strasburg told reporters.
Yeah, we don't blame you, Stephen.
Video courtesy of SportsGrid
Does this look like the face of a champion?
"That's a bit extreme."
–Umpire Bill Miller, discussing Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie's ninth-inning freakout
Most of the beachball population would tend to agree.
Welcome back, Dougie.