Stephen Strasburg made his second start in his return from Tommy John surgery Sunday afternoon. The fireballer was solid, allowing just three hits and one earned run in three innings of work. On a limited pitch count he was able to strike out four batters, while walking none, and put the club in a good position to earn the series win over the Houston Astros.
But despite making a significant step toward full recovery, his efforts on the mound wont be what Strasburg remembers about Sunday. He’ll remember this:
That’s right. The Washington Nationals veterans decided to initiate the team’s rookies, and dressed them up as smurfs. The guy with the beard? That’s Straburg costumed as none other than Papa Smurf himself.
Props to Nats catcher Jesus Flores for tweeting these pictures. The shame of initiation is so much better when it it shared to millions across the internet.
Interestingly, the Nationals weren’t very judicious on who they chose to humiliate with blue paint. Strasburg is technically not a rookie because he pitched more than 50 innings last year. Drew Storen, Collin Balester, and Jordan Zimmermann were also included in the prank, all of whom have plenty of MLB service time.