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Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg injures his knee

Stephen Strasburg will not pitch in the Arizona Fall League championship game after hearing a "pop" in his knee while shagging flies.
Stephen Strasburg will not pitch in the Arizona Fall League championship game after hearing a "pop" in his knee while shagging flies. (Suzanne Starr For The Washington Post)

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By Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 20, 2009

Blog excerpt from

Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals' prized pitching phenom, twisted his left knee while shagging fly balls during batting practice before the Phoenix Desert Dogs' regular season finale in the Arizona Fall League on Thursday, and has been scratched from Saturday's scheduled start in the AFL championship game, the team said in a news release Thursday night.

According to the release, the injury is not considered serious, and an MRI exam taken shortly after the incident showed only "inflammation." Still, Strasburg is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles on Friday to be examined by orthopedist Lewis Yocum.

Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo did not immediately return voice and text messages seeking additional information, and players and coaches in Arizona were instructed not to discuss the injury with the media.

According to two sources who were briefed on the injury, Strasburg, a 21-year-old right-hander, stepped awkwardly while shagging flies in the outfield, heard a "pop" in his knee and crumpled to the ground.

Strasburg, who signed a record $15.1 million contract after the Nationals drafted him No. 1 overall in June, had been scheduled to start for the Desert Dogs in the nationally televised (on the MLB Network) AFL championship game Saturday. He was 4-1 with a 4.26 ERA in five starts in the AFL, having previously missed a scheduled start in the AFL all-star game after waking up with a stiff neck that was later diagnosed as a strained muscle.

Lincecum wins second Cy Young

From Baseball Insider

San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum made history in a number of different ways in winning his second straight NL Cy Young Award on Thursday.

Lincecum, 25, became just the eighth back-to-back winner in the past 50 years.

He also became only the second pitcher in history to win a Cy Young while failing to earn the most first-place votes. Lincecum was named at the top of only 11 of the 32 ballots cast by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, or one fewer than St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright.

But Lincecum also received 12 second-place and nine third-place votes, for a total of 100 points (under a 5-3-1 tabulation system). Wainwright, meantime, tallied just total 90 points -- and actually finished third in the overall voting, behind Cardinals teammate Chris Carpenter (94 points).

Lincecum's 15 wins this season marked the fewest in history by a Cy Young-winning starting pitcher in a non-strike-shortened season -- yet another sign of the declining influence of win-loss record as the sabermetrics movement gains traction in the mainstream media.

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