Despite feeling strong, Strasburg scuffles

Despite feeling strong, Strasburg scuffles

Despite feeling strong, Strasburg scuffles
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg had arguably his worst outing of the spring in a 6-5 loss to the Braves on Wednesday night.

Strasburg pitched four innings, allowed four runs on five hits, struck out one batter and walked two others. He threw 73 pitches, 43 strikes. While his arm felt great, Strasburg acknowledged that he was stubborn during the game.

For example, Strasburg said he made a mistake trying to strike out Dan Uggla on a 1-2 fastball. Uggla, a dead fastball hitter, ended up hitting a two-run homer to give Atlanta a two-run lead. Strasburg said he should have focused more on location instead of trying to blow the hitter away with a fastball. Strasburg called it "immaturity" on his part.

"I have to take a step back and remember what I learned from last year: You have to go out there and pitch, not just throw it by guys," Strasburg said. "With power guys, it takes a little longer to fine tune and get the command where you want it.

"Knowing the type of pitcher that I am, once it clicks, it's there. I'm still day in and day out -- still trying to find it. It's going in the right direction. I go out and have a good first couple of batters and then get a little greedy and leave a couple of pitches up."

Manager Davey Johnson said Strasburg needed to relax and work on his command.

"He got up, didn't hit his spots, he didn't pitch," Johnson said. "He basically overthrew. I'm not worried about it. I don't like to see him amped up and trying to get more out of it. He is a pitcher and he hits his spots, he keeps the ball down.

"We are not in the regular season, you are hitting your spots, you work on your rhythm. When he tried to get the ball down, he was missing bad up."