Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/3/12

The Washington Nationals announced Sunday that Stephen Strasburg’s last start of the season would come Sept. 12 on the road against the New York Mets. On Monday, team management met with the team’s ace to explain their decision.

Strasburg sat down before Monday’s series opener against the Chicago Cubs with manager Davey Johnson, general manage Mike Rizzo and pitching coach Steve McCatty.

“It's no secret that (Strasburg) is an intense competitor, that he wants to be here, wants to be contributing, wants to be helping, and I'm sure it's probably eating him up more than anybody involved in this whole thing, because he wants to be here and helping his teammates,” Johnson said after the meeting. “He's worked harder than anybody coming back from that surgery, and this is what you dream about being a part of. I know how he feels.”

Strasburg, coming back from Tommy John surgery in September 2010, has pitched 156 1/3 innings this season. The plan from the outset was for Strasburg to work between 160 and 180 innings and shut him down.

The 24-year-old right-hander has shown no ill effects from the surgery, posting a 15-6 record with a 2.94 ERA and a National League-best 195 strikeouts.

Johnson said Strasburg wasn’t pleased with the decision. Strasburg also won’t be available for the postseason should the Nationals make it.

“I'm not sure any of us understand, but it's the right thing to do,” Johnson said. “The way I look at things, the job that the (owners) and the front office have done building this organization, I don't look at this as the only chance you're going to get to be in the postseason, the World Series.”

After Sunday's game, Strasburg said, “I just don't have anything to say. I'm in it with these guys and we’ve got a long way to go, but I’m going to fight until the end.”

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