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Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his next start Saturday in Los Angeles.
But the club has no such plans to fiddle with Strasburg's pitching schedule, and there will be no concerted effort to delay the eventual decision to shut him down once he reaches his innings limit for the season.
The same theory applies to everyone else on the staff as well, according to manager Davey Johnson.
"One of the worst things you can do to any pitcher is to give them too much time between starts," Johnson said today. "Regularity is what they need. All of them."
The oft-stated and much-publicized innings limit on Strasburg in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery has elicited plenty of reactions around the baseball world.
Some support the Nationals' plan to restrict the 23-year-old right-hander to roughly 160 innings. Others believe they should just let him pitch straight through the entire season. And still others would like them to find a way to finagle his schedule in an effort to delay the date when he's shut down.
Don't look for the Nationals to do anything out of the ordinary, though, in an attempt to keep Strasburg on the mound as deep into the season as possible. That includes in-game decisions by Johnson on when to pull his starter, such as yesterday's outing in which Strasburg departed after six scoreless innings and 94 total pitches (23 of them coming in a somewhat laborious sixth).
"I've never really ... I don't like that entering the equation," Johnson said. "And I'm sure he doesn't, either. But I'm going to basically treat him like, if he'd had an easy sixth, I'd let him hit, give him one more inning. But it was a little too many pitches."
Strasburg, 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in four starts, is now scheduled to make his next appearance Saturday at the Dodgers. He'll miss an opportunity to pitch in his hometown of San Diego this week.