Strasburg sets sights on propelling Nats to title

Strasburg sets sights on propelling Nats to title

VIERA, Fla. -- On Saturday, right-hander Stephen Strasburg said helping the Nationals win the World Series is his top priority.

Strasburg is looking to appear in the postseason for the first time in his career. In 2012, after the Nationals won their first National League East title, Strasburg was on an innings limit and was left off the playoff roster because of the Tommy John surgery he had in 2010. Strasburg won 15 games in '12 and had a 3.16 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 159 1/3 innings.

"[Winning the World Series is] the most important thing to me, however long it takes. Not just get to the World Series, but winning it," Strasburg said. "I'm not going sit here and say that it is going to happen this year or the next year. But that is the ultimate goal."

Asked two years later if it bothered him that he couldn't help the Nationals in the 2012 NL Division Series, Strasburg said, "You really can't control what happened -- even if I was in there. At the time, I felt I didn't feel part of the team. I helped get them there and it felt the rug got pulled out [from under me]. It was tough to swallow. I think the way I reacted to it was, 'OK, it's something I did. I have to get better doing this. I got myself out of whack [the last few starts of that season]. I wasn't being myself. I was trying to be so much bigger. I was trying to be perfect. I think if you go out there and stay true to yourself ... it's so much easier to live with yourself with what happens."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for 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.