Washington Nationals: Takeaways From 5-1 Win Vs. Pirates

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Jul 3, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws to the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 3, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws to the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Jul 15, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

 Strasburg Gets Win #13

Strasburg elected not to pitch in the All-Star Game in his hometown, but he had an All-Star performance last night against the Pirates. He went eight innings, gave up one run on three hits, struck out six, and walked two on 105 pitches (69 strikes).

For the first four innings, Strasburg didn’t give up a hit. Then, Starling Marte picked up the Pirates first hit in the fifth inning when he hit a 97 mile per hour fastball up the middle for a base hit. Marte also was the first person to steal a base against Strasburg this year, which is impressive.

The toughest inning for Strasburg last night was in the seventh when Andrew McCutchen led off with a base hit and stole second. But, the Washington Nationals right-hander battled back by striking out Marte, getting Matt Joyce to fly out to right, and a groundout to short by Jung Ho Kang.

When you look at his pitches per inning, Strasburg only threw more than 20 pitches in an inning once (21 in the fifth). Plus, out of the six strikeouts he had, three of them came on the fastball, two on the breaking ball, and the Marte strikeout in the seventh came on a changeup.

Since coming off the disabled list, Strasburg has given up just five hits and struck out 20 batters in 21.2 innings. Plus, if you go back to June 15, he has given up a total of four runs in his last four starts. He has been everything an ace should be and he was the right pitcher to set the tempo for the beginning of the second half.

Next: Robinson Contributing Off Bench

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