The Washington Nationals rebounded in the second game of the series against the New York Mets, as they topped their division rivals by a score of 3-1 in Friday night’s contest.
A major reason why the Nationals had success in the game was the pitcher on the mound. Stephen Strasburg has been the ace of the staff for the 2016 season, and once again stepped up when it mattered most.
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He was up against the Mets’ premier starter in Noah Syndergaard and outperformed him. This isn’t something many pitchers can claim, as Syndergaard has had an outstanding first-half of the season.
Strasburg pitched seven innings, allowed one run on a meager two hits, issued three free passes, fanned nine batters and yielded one home run.
The dominating start by the right-hander is something the Nats have grown accustomed to over the course of this season.
It marked the eighth time this year in which he has thrown seven or more innings and the ninth occurrence that Strasburg has struck out nine or more batters in an outing.
He was nearly invincible on the mound as he gave up just two hits and the only blemish was the home run he surrendered to Asdrubal Cabrera in the fifth inning.
Strasburg also didn’t use too much energy in the start, requiring 108 pitches to complete seven innings. He had everything working, and the Mets had a tough time trying to generate scoring opportunities.
He was in complete control during the start, as he set the tempo and didn’t allow any of the hitters in the Mets’ lineup to feel comfortable at the plate.
Strasburg improved to 12-0 with the victory, and the Nationals have a 15-1 record in games started by him this season.
He is the second pitcher in the past 30 years to start a season 12-0, joining teammate Max Scherzer, who started 13-0 in 2013, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
He is also the first National League starting pitcher to start a season 12-0 since Rube Marquard in 1912, says Sportsnet Stats.
It’s a great luxury for a club to have someone like Strasburg throwing the ball every fifth day, as they know he will give them a terrific chance to emerge victorious.
If Strasburg can remain healthy, the Nats are in good shape, considering he’s a big reason why they’re one of better teams in the NL.