Nationals Manager Davey Johnson informed Stephen Strasburg this morning he will not pitch again this season, ending the ace's season after 159 1/3 innings with 24 games remaining and the Nationals leading by 6 1/2 games in the National League East.

Johnson believed Strasburg had become distracted by the immense media coverage of the innings limit the Nationals imposed as he pitches his first full season following Tommy John surgery. The Nationals had planned to let Strasburg make one more start on Wednesday in New York. But after Strasburg allowed the Miami Marlins five runs in three innings Friday night, Johnson made the decision to end his season now instead.

"The media hype on this things has been unbelievable," Johnson said. "I feel it's as hard for him as it would be anybody to get mentally, totally committed in the ballgame. And he's reached his innings limit. So we can get past this and talk about other things for a chance."

Johnson said Strasburg was "emotional" about the decision.

"I know he's been struggling with it for weeks," Johnson said. "I know he doesn't sleep good thinking about it. Shoot, I've heard so much advice from every ex-pitcher, every guru on the matter."

Johnson sensed "from the first pitch" Friday night that Strasburg was out of sorts because of the shutdown hanging over his head. Johnson consulted this morning with General Manager Mike Rizzo and pitching coach Steve McCatty and finalized his decision.

"My job is to do what's best for the player," Johnson said. "This is what's best."