Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg Needs Run Support
After losing the series opener to the Chicago Cubs last night, the Washington Nationals turn to Stephen Strasburg in game two to even things up.
The Washington Nationals offense has been inconsistent in 2019, and that may be putting things lightly. As a team who came into the season with a lineup that was believed to be just as good, if not better, than it was in seasons past, the results as a whole have been disappointing.
Recently, the Washington offense has gone through some serious slumps. You can’t win if you don’t score, and no one knows this more true to heart than Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg.
Since April 21 in his last five starts, Strasburg has been pitching to a Cy-Young level. The big right-hander has struck out 47 batters in his last 33.2 innings and has given up more than two runs just one time in his last five outings. Ironically, the game he gave up four runs was probably his most dominant against Milwaukee, but his offense could not score a single run in a 6-0 defeat.
In Strasburg’s last three outings combined Washington has scored two runs. Yes, you read that right, just two runs. In the five outings that Strasburg has pitched very well in, the Nationals have combined to score just 10 runs, an average of two runs per game.
Towards the beginning of the season, Strasburg was getting tremendous run support. The Nationals scored eight and then ten runs in two of his first three starts, and he was 2-1 at that point. But since then, Washington has given Strasburg just 13 runs in his last six starts, an average of just over two runs of support a game. The San Diego native has lost his last two starts in which Washington got shutout both games.
In his career, the three-time All-Star has been nearly unbeatable when given run support. In games that Strasburg starts when Washington gives him three to five runs of support, he is 41-14 with a 2.50 E.R.A. That is a .745% winning percentage, an amazing number. In games, he gets three to five runs of support Strasburg also strikes out more hitters, recording 623 strikeouts in 517.2 innings.
With how well Stephen Strasburg is pitching, he deserves a better fate. He easily could have won his last five starts, but the Washington offense has failed to show up almost every time he takes the mound. If the Washington Nationals can get Strasburg three to five runs, they will almost certainly win the game. The question is, are they capable of doing it?