Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg Struggles With Command Against Cardinals


In his second start throwing solely from the stretch, Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg had a rocky day against the Cardinals

Down in Jupiter, Florida yesterday, Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg was making his second start of the spring against the St. Louis Cardinals. Unfortunately, his second outing was much worse than his first against the Cardinals that took place last Friday.

Yesterday, Strasburg went just two innings, gave up six runs on seven hits, struck out one, and walked one on 48 pitches (24 strikes). It is the first time he has given up six or more runs in an exhibition game in his entire career (has given up four runs in an outing three separate times).

From the beginning of the game, Strasburg kept falling behind hitters with his fastball. With the Cardinals playing most of their regulars, they were able to swing early and often and make good contact.

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After his outing, Strasburg talked with the media about how he felt his outing went:

In the end, there isn’t much to worry about Strasburg. He did have a bad outing, but it’s better to get these struggles out of the way in spring training as he works on throwing only from the stretch. He had good life on the fastball, but it didn’t translate to his command all day.

From an offensive standpoint, the Nats didn’t do much against Michael Wacha as the Cardinals right-hander gave up two hits and struck out three over three innings. Wacha faced a lineup where the only likely Opening Day starter that was playing was first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (0-for-3, one strikeout).

If there was one positive to take from this game, it’s the play of Michael Taylor. Taylor continued his great spring by going 2-for-3 with a RBI. His single in the top of the sixth scored Grant Green for the Washington Nationals second run of the game.

It is clear that Taylor is looking like he is going to make the Opening Day roster as long as he’s healthy. He is hitting .409 with two home runs and six RBI’s in 22 at-bats. Green and Chris Heisey also had RBI’s in the loss yesterday.

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Next Game: The Washington Nationals are back in West Palm Beach today as they take on the Miami Marlins. A.J. Cole will make his third start of the spring and his second against the Marlins as he tries to bounce back after two bad outings. The game is on radio via MLB.com.