Before the sixth inning, Strasburg was trimming his nail and cut it, which created a little bit of trouble gripping one of his pitches throughout his last inning of work.
"He said, 'I just won't throw that pitch,' and I said, 'No, you won't throw any more pitches,'" Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He was fighting tooth and nail to not come out of the ballgame."
Johnson and Strasburg both said that the cut is not serious and should not prevent him from making his next start. The move to pull Strasburg was more precautionary than anything.
- 142 wins
- 110 wins
"It was nothing major," Strasburg said. "I wanted to go out there again. I was trying to fight for it, but they were pretty committed on getting me out of there. It is what it is, but it's a long season, so I've just got to try to roll with it and go out there and pitch next time.
"I tried to tell them that I was feeling good and everything was working, so I wanted to go back out there and get through the seventh and get deeper in the ballgame. But it's out of my control."
The 23-year-old dominated the Blue Jays in the Nationals' 6-2 victory, following up his 13-strikeout performance against Boston by fanning eight over six innings to become the first pitcher in the Major Leagues this season to record 100 strikeouts.
Strasburg allowed two runs on five hits to improve to 8-1, winning his fifth straight game and helping the Nationals complete their six-game road trip with a 6-0 record.
Washington has off-days on Thursday and Monday, so it should give Strasburg plenty of time to recover.
Chris Toman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.