Nationals star Strasburg visits chiropractor, feels better after early exit in last start

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WASHINGTON — Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg says he feels much better after visiting a chiropractor.

"It was instant," Strasburg said Friday. "After he felt around for a little bit, felt what was different from the other side, just got it all out of there. So, night and day."

Strasburg left his last start Tuesday after three innings. Manager Matt Williams said the right-hander had an "alignment issue" under his shoulder blade.

The 26-year-old Strasburg played catch on the field a couple hours after that early exit. He saw a chiropractor on Wednesday, and reported noticeable improvement after playing catch before the Nationals opened a three-game series against Atlanta.

Williams said Strasburg will throw a bullpen session on Saturday. That will determine whether Strasburg makes his next scheduled start on Monday night in Arizona.

"I feel good. It feels good playing catch," Strasburg said. "Just going to throw a bullpen tomorrow and go on from there."

Because of an off-day before the start of their series against the Braves, Williams could move up Max Scherzer to start Monday on normal rest and push Strasburg back to Tuesday.

Strasburg is 2-3 in six starts this year with a 4.73 ERA. He was an NL All-Star in 2012 and tied for the league lead in strikeouts last year.

Strasburg winced after throwing a pitch in the second inning Tuesday night and was visited by the team trainer, pitching coach Steve McCatty and Williams. Strasbrug stayed in the game, but was removed for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the third inning.

Strasburg gave up two runs on four hits, walked two and hit a batter in his shortest outing since a two-inning stint against Miami on Aug. 28, 2013.

After the game, Strasburg said: "The best way I can put it is if you're driving a car fast over speed bumps, you know it's kind of a little irritation. Kind of rattles the cage a little bit."

Strasburg made his major league debut in 2010 and his year ended when he needed Tommy John surgery. He missed most of 2011 while recovering, and his 2012 season was cut short by a team-imposed innings limit.

Strasburg missed a pair of starts in 2013 while on the disabled list, then made a career-high 34 starts last year and tied Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto for the NL strikeout lead with 242.

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