Stephen Strasburg‘s first career start against his hometown San Diego Padres proved to be a memorable one, just not in the way the Washington Nationals and Strasburg were hoping. Strasburg would surrender four runs over four innings, tied for the second shortest outing of his young 25-start career.
Based on all that was shared on Twitter as the game was set to begin, much of the pre-game chatter in the press box centered on the idea of Strasburg throwing a no-hitter this afternoon against the Padres. San Diego must have heard the talk as they wasted little time proving the Nationals’ beat writers wrong. Left fielder Will Venable led the game off with a bloop into shallow left-center field. It was seemingly a playable ball, but instead it dropped inbetween Roger Bernadina, Rick Ankiel, and Ian Desmond. Venable ended up on second for a leadoff double.
Strasburg would get the next batter, Cameron Maybin, out before walking Chase Headley. First baseman Yonder Alonso stepped to the plate next and lined a single, scoring Venable. Then the rain started to come down and the game would end up being delayed, albeit briefly. Upon returning from the roughly 8 minute delay catcher John Baker was at the plate, with a full count and the bases loaded. He was able to guess a fastball was coming and promptly hit the first pitch back up the middle to drive in two more runs.
Rookie left fielder James Darnell hit a solo home run in the third, making the score 4-0 in favor of San Diego. Strasburg would pitch through the 4th inning – striking out five and walking two while allowing the four runs on seven hits. His ERA on the season rose to 2.25.
Washington’s lone run, and lone offensive highlight, was a solo home run in the 5th inning by Bryce Harper. It was his second in as many days and was estimated at about 406 feet to dead center field. Desmond was the only player with multiple hits on the game.
Champ of the Game: Desmond gets the nod for his 2 for 4 showing, adding a stolen base.
Venable deserves a mention for San Diego. He went 4 for 5 on the game with a pair of singles, a double, and a triple.
Chump of the Game: Bernadina, who went 0 for 4 at the plate, struck out twice, and admitted after the game that he should have caught Venable’s leadoff double to start the game.