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Originally published Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 7:58 PM

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Strasburg's season shut down early

All-Star ace Stephen Strasburg is done for the year after the Washington Nationals decided to end his season after a shaky start, costing...

AP Sports Writer

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WASHINGTON — All-Star ace Stephen Strasburg is done for the year after the Washington Nationals decided to end his season after a shaky start, costing him a chance to possibly pitch in the playoffs.

Manager Davey Johnson made the announcement Saturday with the Nationals holding the best record in the majors. He said the media attention surrounding the innings limit for the 24-year-old right-hander was affecting the pitcher.

"I just told Stephen that his year is over. He's had a great year. I know what he's going through," Johnson said. "The media hype on this thing has been unbelievable. I feel it's as hard for him as it would be anybody to get mentally, totally committed in the ballgame. And he's reached his innings limit. So we can get past this and talk about other things for a change."

Johnson said Strasburg was "emotional" about the decision to end his season immediately. A day earlier, the overall No. 1 pick from the 2009 draft matched a career low by lasting only three innings against Miami.

"He's one heck of a pitcher, and he's a heck of a competitor," Johnson said. "I know he's been struggling with it for weeks. I know he doesn't sleep good thinking about it."

Strasburg went 15-6 with a 3.16 earned-run average in his first full season after elbow-ligament replacement surgery on Sept. 3, 2010. He struck out 197 in 159-1/3 innings.

The Nationals had said Wednesday's start at the New York Mets likely would be his final appearance of the season. John Lannan will make that start and remain in the rotation.

Orioles lose Markakis

BALTIMORE — Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis will be out for at least six weeks with a broken left thumb, the result of being hit by a pitch from New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia.

Markakis left Saturday night's 5-4 win over the Yankees in the fifth inning after being struck by the pitch.

The injury will keep him out of the remainder of the regular season and deep into the playoffs — should Baltimore qualify for its first postseason appearance since 1997.

Notes

• Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp received a cortisone injection in his inflamed left shoulder and hopes he will return as soon as Tuesday against Arizona.

• Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger was suspended for one game and fined for his role in a benches-clearing incident Thursday night in Washington.

• Umpire Jeff Kellogg was forced out of the game between the Tigers and Angels after taking a foul tip flush off the facemask in the bottom of the second inning.

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