Washington Nationals: Takeaways From 12-1 Win Vs. Reds
Long Ball Fuels Victory And Baker Makes Tough Call
As they have all season long, the Nationals used the long ball to lead them to victory. They hit six homers on Sunday Afternoon, the second time they have done this in team history.
Stephen Drew, Danny Espinosa, Bryce Harper, Wilson Ramos, and Anthony Rendon all joined the homer party. After Sunday’s offensive explosion, the Nationals now are third in baseball with 114 home runs, and passed the Mets for the National League lead.
Although the offense did explode, Dusty Baker had to make a tough call about going to his bullpen. Baker removed Strasburg in the seventh with a no-hitter, but I believe he made the right call. Being in attendance in the game, it would have been great to see Strasburg try to finish the no-no, but in the end Baker did the right thing.
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After missing his last three starts, it was Strasburg’s first start off the disabled list, and it would have been tough to stretch him more than he did. Stras left the game with 109 pitches and he would have had to go 2.1 more innings to complete the game. If he would have left him in, Strasburg probably would have been around 120 pitches in the eighth inning and it would have been very risky to send him back out with that high of a pitch count.
While it was disappointing Sunday afternoon, Dusty Baker made the right call for the long term benefit of Stras, and the Nationals. If the Nats are going to make the playoffs they are going to need Stras be healthy and lead their rotation into the playoff push, so Baker airing on the side of caution is the right call.