Look, Washington National fans, I know you all must be feeling like absolute crap right now. And with reason. Stephen Strasburg going down, especially this late in the season, might have been the worst news a Nationals fan could’ve ever heard. In particular when considering how good he looked in only his first year in the majors.

However, here are two silver linings to cheer all of you up.

1) The worst news about Strasburg was that he will probably be getting Tommy John surgery. TJ is the great mystery in baseball today. It can either destroy a pitcher’s career, or it can lift them to new heights.

What do John Smoltz, Josh Johnson, David Wells, Chris Carpenter and Tim Hudson have in common? They all made it back from TJ surgery and enjoyed great careers. Look at Mariano Rivera. The young Yankee had it done in 1992 and then enjoyed a great career afterwards.

It can be done. 

Nobody will know how it will affect Strasburg until he pitches again post-op, but he had a million-dollar arm beforehand, so it’s better to be optimistic.

2) The Nationals weren’t going to be too competitive in 2011 anyway. Their big year is going to be 2012. Bryce Harper will be on the opening day roster and the rotation will be anchored by Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman (another TJ survivor).

2011 is going to be just another year for the Nationals. Harper needs at least a year of seasoning in the minors. If anything, Strasburg would just be an effective but unneeded talent for the Nats. 

That will be the big time for the youth movement, the young guys all together for the first time (plus Free Agent A). 

Well, it’s a rough time to be in Washington right now watching sports. At least savor the play of John Wall and Alex Ovechkin.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com