Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg faces Justin Maxwell in a simulated game this afternoon.
PHOENIX -- Stephen Strasburg is about to start pitching a simulated game at Chase Field. Nice of the Diamondbacks to leave the roof open. The current temperature: 106 degrees.
Three batters will dig in against the rookie right-hander: Justin Maxwell, Adam Kennedy and Willie Harris. (Guess Willie was forced into doing it, because last night when I asked if he was going to face Strasburg, he responded: "I'm not showing up for that. I'm trying to get out of a slump, not in one!")
I'll have some updates and photos in a little bit...
4:50 p.m. -- The first "inning" is complete, and Strasburg looked perfectly fine out there. Turns out only Maxwell and Harris are facing him, not Kennedy. Strasburg faced each batter twice. He "struck out" Maxwell, who swung and missed twice in his first at-bat. He then "walked" Harris and plunked Maxwell with an inside breaking ball. Harris finished out the frame by lofting a check-swing base hit to shallow right-center. He immediately shouted out, "Yeah!" and raised his left arm in triumph. He and Maxwell then did a little dance. Strasburg went back to the dugout and is taking a short between-innings break at the moment.
5:07 p.m. -- Inning number two is complete, and it appears that will be it. Strasburg faced five more "batters." He struck out Harris looking at a curveball, then struck out Maxwell swinging. Justin did come back to line a base hit to left field his next time up. So Strasburg faced a total of nine "batters," and allowed two "hits." Probably threw about 40-45 pitches. Didn't appear to have any issues whatsoever. I would imagine we'll find out shortly that he's good to go Tuesday against the Marlins.
I'll have a full story on CSNwashington.com later on.