Washington Nationals Rapid Reaction: Nats Backups Taking Advantage Of Playing Time

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Jul 4, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) talks with Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams (9) during the fourth inning prior to be removed from the game with an apparent injury at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Strasburg Shows Dominance, But Leaves Game Early

Through the first 3.2 innings of yesterday’s win over San Francisco, Stephen Strasburg was able to shut down a Giants lineup that came into yesterday morning’s game on a four game losing streak. In his first two starts since returning from his left trapezius muscle injury, The 26-year-old right-hander had given up only two runs in his last two starts, struck out a combined 15 batters, and only walked two.

Yesterday, the only hit that took place against Strasburg came in the third inning on a one out single from Justin Maxwell. Other than that, the Nats pitcher settled in, especially when given an early 3-0. He threw 36 of his 56 pitches and threw ten first pitch strikes to the 13 batters he faced.

However, just when people were ready to say that Strasburg was back on form, he leaves the game in the top of the fourth inning after getting Buster Posey to ground out to second. It’s been a tough season for Strasburg when it comes to his health, but as Nats catcher Wilson Ramos said, he started to look like the pitcher from a few years ago:

"“I was excited about the last three innings, because he was throwing really [well],” Ramos said. “I was telling Desi [shortstop Ian Desmond], and Desi told me he was impressive today.” (h/t William Ladson, MLB.com)"

Tanner Roark came in for Strasburg and pitched well. He went 4.1 innings, gave up two runs on five hits, and struck out three on 61 pitches (43 strikes). The question would be if Strasburg were to go on the disabled list again, would Roark slide back into the rotation again or would the team use Joe Ross, who is now in triple-A?

For now, the Nats have another streak that they are continuing to build on and it involves the excellent control they have had in not allowing too many free passes:

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