This year has been a big question mark with Stephen Strasburg. His injuries early in the year really impacted his game. He was off even by the most generous of standards. He wait on the disabled list and came back much more like his old self. But then along came a strained oblique and he was out again.
Last night he returned and returned the Stephen Strasburg we knew. He had one bad pitch just one that yielded a home run. Otherwise to say he was on would be a huge understatement. He struck out 12. Oh and he went 3-3 at the plate too. He was picked the player of the game with good reason. It was great to see him back to form one that, hopefully, he will keep for the rest of the year.
From the Post:
Saturday night, he pitched like the man the Nationals built their rotation around for the past few seasons. He attacked, using fastballs to pummel the inside corner without concern of consequence and rendering curveballs away, nearly untouchable in the process.More good news on Saturday night was that the Mets lost. The Nationals are now a game and a half out of first place. There is still a great deal of work to do. Mostly because the Nationals don't seem able to string together a bunch of wins. Doesn't have to be a huge streak but they need to start taking series with teams like they did in May.
He erred momentarily in the fourth inning, when Nolan Arenado, who is second in the National League in homers since June 1, hit a 1-0 fastball into the visitors’ bullpen in left for his 27th home run of the season. Then Strasburg struck out first baseman Ben Paulsen on three pitches. He retired the last 11 batters he faced and looked like he could have returned for the eighth inning at 91 pitches until the Nationals mounted a long rally in the seventh. Strasburg did not walk a batter and 65 of his 91 pitches were strikes.For one evening, the game seemed to come easily — so much so that Strasburg went 3 for 3. He had six hits in 60 at-bats last season but is the first Nationals pitcher ever to strike out 10 and have three hits in one game.
August so far is looking like April when the Nats couldn't seem to win a game and had errors right and left. Hopefully they can build on this. Max Scherzer pitches today. They need to win this game. They have a really tough road trip ahead where they play the Dodgers and then the Giants. That's a total of seven games. They need to win at least four or more of those games and hope the Mets hit a dry spell.
The Nats have the ability and the talent to do this. The Nats just need to start showing they have both.
|Bryce Harper at the plate. He swings so hard his helmet comes off.|