Nats doing their best to deal with soaring temps

Nats doing their best to deal with soaring temps

WASHINGTON -- Even at home, Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals can't escape the heat.

Temperatures at Nationals Park weren't likely to hit 100 degrees Friday night, but Strasburg nevertheless made his third consecutive start in sweltering heat when the Nats began a three-game series with the Rockies. Triple-digit heat is forecasted for the remainder of the weekend series, with a high of 105 degrees expected for Saturday and 100 for Sunday.

Strasburg's last start came on June 30 in Atlanta, when the first-pitch temperature read 104 degrees. It eventually reached 106, according to multiple media reports. The Nats' young ace lasted just three innings against the Braves -- his shortest start of the season -- and needed three IVs of saline solution after the game. Gio Gonzalez took the mound for the series finale the next day, when it was 101 at first pitch.

Manager Davey Johnson said Strasburg didn't take an IV before Friday night's game, though moving forward, the team could adopt a similar routine to that of the Braves' Tim Hudson, who takes an IV in preparation for his starts.

Following that last start in Atlanta, Johnson said Strasburg had a "pretty scary" moment, when the Nats' young ace looked white in the face and was breathing heavily in the dugout between innings. Later, Johnson said he found out Strasburg "got a little dizzy" on the mound.

"It's tough out there," Strasburg said after that start. "Obviously, I wanted to go out there and compete. I expected a lot more out of myself. By no means was I going out there thinking I wasn't prepared for it. I did everything I could to be ready for it, as far as hydrating. You've just got to learn from it. It's a tough situation."

Johnson did say the medical staff was on hand to administer IVs to any player who needs one before or after Friday's game, which is expected to have a heat index near 100 degrees at first pitch.

Strasburg also dealt with extreme heat on June 25, when the first pitch in Colorado came with the temperature reading 100. He lasted six innings and was charged with the loss after allowing three earned runs on six hits.