Does Stephen Strasburg look uncomfortable?

Stephen Strasburg

In the above photo, Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg is grimacing. One would assume he's doing so because he turned in a rare bad start on Tuesday against the Padres. But there's also another, far more merciless possibility.

After the game, manager Davey Johnson made cryptic reference to something that afflicted Strasburg in the first inning. In Johnson's words, Strasburg got "hot stuff in the wrong place."

From there, Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington put the pieces together ...

Sounds awful, actually. Sure, slathering someone's jock in heating ointment is a bit of a timeless baseball prank, but on a guy's start day? How can one possibly pitch with pills aflame in such a manner? And can anyone vouch for Jay Johnstone's whereabouts?

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