Washington Nationals: 5 to watch in second half start against Reds

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
Washington Nationals
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

Stephen Strasburg

Strasburg is coming off of one of the worst outings of his career against the Braves on July 8. He went three innings, gave up six runs (three earned runs) on seven hits, walked two, and didn’t strike anyone out.

For a pitcher that has the sixth most strikeouts in the National League (128), its always concerning when he goes without striking someone out. Early in the week, Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post tweeted out what might’ve been bothering him:

While it would’ve been good to see Strasburg pitch the All-Star Game, the extra rest should help him for a second half where the Nats will need him healthy. Over the last two years, he has made a total of 18 second half starts (eight last season).

The Reds are one of the teams Strasburg tends to struggle against. In seven career starts against them, he has a 5.00 ERA and has only thrown a total of 36 innings. A hitter to watch in this game will be second baseman Scooter Gennett (4-for-8, three home runs, six RBI’s).

You don’t want to overreact to one outing, especially when the Nats have as big a lead in the NL East as they do. However, a dominant start on a Monday afternoon would go a long way in setting up a good second half.

Finally, let’s take a look at a possible trade target for the Washington Nationals that will be pitching this weekend