Washington Nationals' right hander Steven Strasburg will be held out of his last two or three starts down the stretch in order to be able to use him in the playoffs.

After having Tommy John surgery last year, Strasburg is 15-5 with a 2.85 ERA.  He leads the National League in strikeouts with 183 in 145.2 innings this season.

It has been said by the Nationals all year that Strasburg would be shut down for the season once he reaches 160-180 innings.

Nationals' General Manager Mike Rizzo, however, says the team does not have a specific target for shutting down Strasburg for the season and that he will be the one to make the decision.

Washington leads the National League East by six games.  The city hasn't had a playoff team since 1933.