Washington Nationals: Mistakes doom Game 1 loss

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 05: Anthony Rendon
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 05: Anthony Rendon /
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If you lost sleep over how Stephen Strasburg would do starting Game 1, you earned a Saturday nap.

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Strasburg was brilliant. A master of efficiency with 81 pitches and ten strikeouts over seven innings. Both runs on his part of the scorebook were unearned. He joins John Smoltz as the only pitchers in playoff history not to allow an earned run, whiff double digits and lose.

On a steady diet of four-seam fastballs, changeups and curves, Strasburg drew 17 swings-and-misses on 60 strikes. He averaged a remarkable 11.57 pitches an inning. Remember, 15-pitch innings are what teams dream of. If this was an American League game with a designated hitter, he would flirt with a rare complete game.

The staff ace the second-half of the season. Strasburg earned the Game 1 start. Pitching in only his second postseason, he delivered the goods and bolstered his case from snubs of years past. The 2017 version of him is everything Nats fans could dream of from 2010 forward.

With a lone walk, Strasburg controlled the pace and tempo against Chicago from the mound. His fastball touched 98 early, but his off-speed stuff was unhittable. Pure filth.

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If this series goes the distance, Strasburg is the man you want out there for Game 5. With two off-days built into the series, he would go with an extra day of rest. He gives the Nats a great chance to advance if they get that far.