Jul 6, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) sits in the dugout after being removed from the game after the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Nationals Park. The Rockies defeated the Nationals 5 - 1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Game 81: Rockies 5, Nationals 1

Coming into today, the Colorado Rockies were last in the MLB in ERA, WHIP, and opponent’s batting average, and the Nationals were averaging 8+ runs per game in their last nine games.

You wouldn’t have guessed that from tonight’s game.

Despite a strong start from Stephen Strasburg (L, 9-4), who allowed two earned runs in six innings, the Nationals’ bats fell silent and their four-game winning streak was snapped as the Nats (48-33) lost to the Rockies, 5-1.

Strasburg was not dominant but pitched well, allowing eight hits, one walk, and two earned runs (in addition to one unearned), all on homers by Tyler Colvin, in six innings in addition to six strikeouts. He threw 107 pitches in those six innings, and was replaced by Tom Gorzelanny to start the seventh. Both Gorzelanny and Ryan Mattheus, who pitched the eighth, allowed one run, putting the game further out of reach for the Nats. Henry Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth, but it would be of little help.

Rockies’ starter Drew Pomeranz was dominant against the Nats, striking out six and allowing only one hit in 6.1 IP. Matt Belisle and Rex Brothers followed up Pomeranz and combined to finish the seventh and eighth while still allowing no runs. The shutout was finally broken when Ryan Zimmerman hit a solo homer to lead off the ninth. Then, with hits from Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse, the Nationals had runners on second and third with no outs, but three straight outs recorded by Rafael Betancourt quickly ended the Nats’ rally bid.

Champ of the Game: Strasburg, whose outing was lackluster for him, but with a 3.00 ERA and a 9.00 K/9, had better stats in this start than Zack Greinke has had for the entire season (3.08 ERA, 8.83 K/9).

For the Rockies, Pomeranz pitched like everyone would expect Strasburg to.

Chump of the Game: The middle infield duo of Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa, who combined went 0-8 with 3 strikeouts.

Colorado’s Rex Brothers recorded only one out before allowing the Zimmerman home run and getting pulled.

Unsung Hero: Adam LaRoche, who was 1-4 but managed the Nats’ only hit with a runner in scoring position.

Carlos Gonzalez was 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored for the Rockies.

Next Game: Tomorrow vs. Colorado, 4:05PM. Jeff Francis (2-1, 5.16) vs. Gio Gonzalez (11-3, 3.01).

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Tags: Colorado Rockies Drew Pomeranz Nationals Rockies Stephen Strasburg Tyler Colvin Washington Nationals

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