VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals received a scare in the fourth inning Friday when Stephen Strasburg was hit on the left hand by a line drive off the bat of the Tigers' Prince Fielder.
With a runner on first base, Fielder hit a line drive up the middle. Strasburg tried to catch the ball, but it hit the bottom of his left hand and went into center field for a single. Strasburg was seen shaking his hand, while manager Davey Johnson, catcher Kurt Suzuki, pitching coach Steve McCatty and athletic trainer Lee Kuntz came to his aid.
"The hand is fine. It just kind of numbed up a little bit out there. It's a little tender, but nothing crazy," Strasburg said. "You have the adrenaline pumping. I thought I could have caught it. It took a while to sink in when it hit me. Then it got numb. I shook it out. It was just tender after that."
Strasburg would stay in the game and allow two runs in the fifth inning and finished with six innings pitched, allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out five batters.
"I thought I pitched pretty well," Strasburg said. "I got weak contact. They singled me to death besides the home run early. That's baseball."
Strasburg has one more Spring Training start before starting Opening Day against the Marlins on April 1 at Nationals Park. He said his arm felt so good that he could have gone more than six innings.
"My stamina is there," Strasburg said. "I definitely could have gone back out there for at least the rest of the game, to be honest. There were good signs."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less