Washington Nationals: Offense slams Strasburg’s gem
Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg dodged trouble striking out 10, but the Los Angeles Dodgers shut down the Nats, 4-0.
There are nights when all the Washington Nationals can do is tip their caps.
But, in the Nats 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, you did not figure Hyun-jin Ryu was the pitcher deserving a pat on the back. Ryu and two relievers held Washington to two hits while retiring 19 of the last 20 batters.
Lost in that number is Stephen Strasburg scattering five hits over seven innings with 10 strikeouts. His 37th career double-digit strikeout game.
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Ryu dealt from the start and Washington abandoned their patience at the plate and went hacking. He faced 26 hitters, walked three while whiffing eight on a tidy 89 pitches. When he was not fooling the bottom of the order, the top swung at anything close.
Save for two long walks drawn by Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman, Ryu was unsolvable. Dodger pitching faced 33 batters. Eleven struck out while the Nats scratched out two singles.
Although Matt Wieters had a single, he struck out twice with Michael Taylor and Wilmer Difo. Too often Washington runs into a pitcher who gets hot and they fail to crack them.
You know how much Anthony Rendon and Adam Eaton are missed. Tonight was the eighth game Rendon did not play. Why was he not placed on the disabled list? Hard enough to have good bench depth with huge bullpens. Washington shortened theirs to four.
You cannot say there is not a worthy bat in Syracuse ready.
STRASBURG AS HOUDINI
For the first four innings, Strasburg matched Ryu filthy pitch for pitch. A rough fifth saw Strasburg throw 23. In the sixth, he nibbled and loaded the bases.
After a mound visit from Derek Lilliquist, Strasburg struck out the side. Whether it is fatigue or a change of tactics, when he stops attacking batters, bad things happen. His pitch count heading into the sixth was low-60s. After the seventh, he finished with 107.
From afar, this looks like a concentration issue. In trying to change his pitches the second time through the lineup, he loses that pinpoint control. With nothing going on offense, he kept Washington in the game. But, there will be times when those lapses will cost a win.
Although out-of-market viewers did not see Carlos Torres’ debut, there is an immediate concern after he allowed a two-run blast to Cody Bellinger. In 20 pitches, Torres tossed 10 strikes. He must do better than half if he expects to stay around.
Next: Martinez passing early tests
Matt Grace goes on the disabled list after pulling a groin muscle pitching Friday night. Trevor Gott gets recalled.