WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals have shut down Stephen Strasburg after a shaky start against the Miami Marlins.
Manager Davey Johnson made the announcement Saturday morning. The Nationals had been monitoring the right-hander's workload, and Johnson says the media attention to his innings was "unbelievable."
Johnson said it was more mental than physical, and it was clear from Strasburg's Friday start that Strasburg didn't have his head in the game.
John Lannan will take Strasburg's spot and start Wednesday against the Mets in New York.
The move comes a day after Strasburg matched his career low by lasting only three innings, allowing five runs in the NL East-leading Nationals' 9-7, 10-inning loss to Miami.
"To be honest with you, I think he just is thinking too much about the decision when we're going to shut him down," Johnson said Friday night. "And he kind of wore it. He didn't like it. But that's the way it is."
Strasburg, 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA, allowed two runs in the first, one in the second and two in the third, giving up six hits -- including home runs to Giancarlo Stanton and Rob Brantly. He threw 67 pitches and was pinch hit for in the third.
In his first full season after elbow-ligament replacement surgery on Sept. 3, 2010, Strasburg will finish with 197 strikeouts in 159 1/3 innings.
"I didn't command the fastball, kept on getting behind in the counts," Strasburg said. "I wasn't able to use my other pitches effectively and they kept teeing off on me a little bit."
The Nationals, wanting to protect the arm of the 24-year-old right-hander, had earlier said Wednesday likely would be his final appearance of the season, though Washington is likely to see postseason baseball for the first time since the original Senators in 1933.
Strasburg received a lengthy standing ovation from fans as he jogged out to the mound for what turned into a 23-pitch first inning.
Johnson said Strasburg may have been distracted by the shutdown talk.
"I can understand where he's at," Johnson said Friday. "And even in the conversations that I've had with him, he was having trouble sleeping, thinking about letting the guys down. So I understand his mood."