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At some point, minor league hitters simply need to be protected from Stephen Strasburg(notes). He can't possibly be helping them, and they're certainly not challenging him. This has become ridiculous.

Strasburg delivered another brilliant line for Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday: 6.0 innings, no hits, no runs, one walk, seven Ks, 80 pitches. Strasburg's fastball was routinely 97-98 mph, per his usual. The evening's most impressive strikeout may have been the inning-ender in the fifth, when he caught Michael Aubrey(notes) looking at a 3-2 curve. Watch every K right here, via MiLB.com. 

Four of Strasburg's last five minor league outings have been either one-hit or no-hit efforts. When he was sent to minor league camp this spring, the Washington Nationals reportedly wanted him to improve his delivery from the stretch. He probably hasn't made much progress in that area, though, what with the lack of baserunners.

We all know that baseball economics will keep Strasburg in Syracuse for a few more appearances. Feel free to speculate about the date of his call-up in comments. I'll take June 4, which would allow him to make two starts for the Nats in a six-game homestand (versus the Reds and Pirates).

Without question, that will be a live-blog event. Please clear your schedule.

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Photo via AP Images

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