Washington Nationals pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg had an uncharacteristically rough outing on Tuesday in his start against the San Diego Padres, lasting only four innings while getting knocked around for four runs. Following the game, Nats manager Davey Johnson made some veiled allusions to the possibility that some Hot Stuff, an analgesic ointment pitchers often use to loosen up before games, might have inadvertently made its way into a region of the body where a burning sensation might not be competitively advantageous nor particularly enjoyed.
“I can’t really tell you what the problem was, but some Hot Stuff got misplaced,” Johnson said. “It was on his shoulder and evidently – I don’t know how it got to where it got, but it was uncomfortable, to say the least.”
Of course, Johnson is tacitly alluding to Strasburg’s crotchal region. Ouch.
The placement of Hot Stuff in a teammate’s jock is a commonly orchestrated prank in the clubhouse, but most believe nobody in their right mind would dare pull that stunt with the Nationals first incarnation of The Golden Child (with Bryce Harper of course being the second in line), so the prevailing theory is that the wet conditions in Washington on Tuesday somehow caused the Hot Stuff to migrate down into the area most unwelcome to such a topical treatment.
Strasburg, when approached and informed about what Johnson had mentioned to the media reportedly appeared slightly irritated, yet refused to explicitly address exactly what had occurred, saying, “Yeah, you know, I’m going to keep that in the clubhouse.” Because who really wants to discuss how a burning sensation in their crotch caused them to be unable to do their job? Well, other than those working in the…never mind.
According to Hot Stuff’s website, the ointment is “great for warming muscles before play and afterwards to help relieve soreness” although it is “not recommended for use with additional heat source or on sensitive skin.” And, as I attempt to be as delicate with my words as possible here, I believe we can all agree that the region where Strasburg may have gotten Hot Stuff on is most certainly an area where the skin is most sensitive. Yeah.