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Stephen Strasburg scratched with back injury, Dodgers to face Yusmeiro Petit instead

Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The matchup of Clayton Keshaw and Stephen Strasburg seemed too good to be true, and that turned out to be true. The Nationals scratched Strasburg a little more than an hour before Monday's series opener against the Dodgers with an upper back strain.

Yusmeiro Petit gets rushed into starting duty. The all-purpose swing man has been effective in multiple roles in the last few years for San Francisco and now Washington, but since the start of 2015 had pitched almost exclusively in relief.

Petit's one start since the beginning of last season came on May 23, 2015. He last pitched on Friday night, pitching an inning in relief in San Diego for his first major league save.

The 31-year-old right-hander has a 2.81 ERA in 17 games in relief for the Nationals this season, with 25 strikeouts and seven walks in 32 innings. It is unclear just how long Petit will be able to pitch on Monday night, especially on short notice, but he has lasted at least two innings eight times this year, including relief outings of 4⅔, 4 and 3⅔ innings.