Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/15/12

It was very unusual to see Nationals' starter Stephen Strasburg allow three runs in the first inning.

Strasburg had allowed three runs only once before in seven previous starts this season, so to see it happen in the first frame had to be a shocking circumstance.

A dropped fly ball off the bat of the first hitter of the game, two walks and an eight-minute rain delay, coupled with a two-run single by John Baker of the Padres set the tone for a rough outing by Strasburg standards.

Manager Davey Johnson said that despite the shortened weather delay, the wet conditions made for a sloppy first inning for Strasburg.

"All the balls Strasburg was getting were wet," Johnson said. "That is why he kept going to the rosin bag, as it was wet. One thing led to another."

Strasburg said it was difficult to grip the baseball in the first inning downpour.

"The ball is soaking wet up to the second to last hitter I faced that inning," Strasburg said. "You are just trying to guide it in there. When they finally call it, it is almost like I don't have any margin for error."

A 39-pitch first inning set the tone for the shortest stint of the season for Strasburg. He managed only four innings and finished with 81 pitches. That is when Johnson decided to pull him in what turned out to be a 6-1 defeat.

"It was just tough conditions all around," Strasburg said. "It was one of those games where you go out there and do your best to overcome the obstacles and sometimes you just can't get out of it the way you want to."

The Padres did a good job of making contact against Strasburg, getting at least one hit in each of the first four innings.

"I thought after the third inning, minus the home run, I pretty much settled down and started to locate the ball much better," Strasburg said.

The loss was certainly not pleasing to Strasburg, but finding a way to gut through bad field conditions or defensive miscues are lessons all top of the line veteran starters must endure.

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