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Strasburg to start Opening Day for Nationals

The SportsXchange

Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg will start Opening Day for the second consecutive year when the Nationals face the Miami Marlins at home on April 1.

Manager Davey Johnson announced that Strasburg is getting the nod over Gio Gonzalez, who led the National League with 21 wins last season and finished third in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

The 24-year-old Strasburg was shut down by the Nationals near the end of the 2012 season during the team's playoff run after pitching 159 1/3 innings. The controversial move was made over concerns about his arm in his first season back after Tommy John elbow surgery. He also was held out of a National League divisional playoff series that the Nationals lost in five games to St. Louis.

Despite the early end to his season, the hard-throwing Strasburg finished with a 15-6 record and a 3.16 ERA and averaged 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

The Nationals have said Strasburg has no inning restrictions this season.
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