Washington Nationals: Three Takeaways From Opening Day

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Apr 3, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Blake Treinen (45) is congratulated by Washington Nationals catcher Matt Wieters (32) after earning a save against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Washington Nationals won 4 - 2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 3, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Blake Treinen (45) is congratulated by Washington Nationals catcher Matt Wieters (32) after earning a save against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Washington Nationals won 4 - 2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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No Stretch, Strasbeard Is Awesome

Some prefer Strasbeard, others prefer Stretchburg, but all Nats fans loved the dominant performance from Stephen Strasburg on Monday.  Strasburg went seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits in his season debut.  Weirdly enough, two of those six hits belonged to opposing starting pitcher, Edinson Volquez.

One of the main concerns with Strasburg eliminating his wind-up was the possibility of him losing velocity.  He put those concerns to rest, routinely throwing fastballs in the upper 90s.

Strasburg didn’t quite have his usual swing and miss stuff, only striking out three, but had a great performance nevertheless.  Much of Strasburg’s success can be attributed to his command of all his pitches.  He threw 63 strikes out of 85 pitches, which is almost 75 percent strikes.  That is a great outing, especially for Opening Day, when pitchers are usually still getting back into the swing of things.

Strasburg ended up getting the win, thanks to Adam Lind.  Lind pinch hit for Strasburg in the bottom of the seventh, and hit a go-ahead two-run homer.  This meant Strasburg was the pitcher of record and officially left the game with the lead.

The only blemish on Strasburg’s record was the fourth inning, in which he allowed two runs.  Doubles from J.T. Realmuto and Giancarlo Stanton eventually led to two runs, giving the Marlins a temporary lead.

If you ignore the fourth inning, Strasburg was nearly perfect, and only allowed three hits in six innings.  This was a great season debut for Strasburg, and he looks ready to have a great season leading the excellent Nationals rotation, assuming he stays healthy.

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