Washington Nationals: Stephen Strasburg Gives Up 2 HR's, K's 8 in 4.0 IP.

• The Washington Nationals' 21-year-old right-hander, Stephen Strasburg, dialed up a 94 mph fastball to the first Cardinal batter he faced, St. Louis' shortstop Tyler Greene, who sent it out of the park to left over Willy Taveras' head and the outfield wall, HR, 1-0 Cards. Strasburg got a swinging K on a full-count fastball to the second batter he faced, Jon Jay, but the next batter Allen Craig tucked a long fly ball into the right field corner for the second HR of the inning and the second ER the Nats' right-hander has allowed this Spring. Strasburg got a groundout from Nick Stavinoha for the second out, and would've been out of the inning if Ian Desmond didn't boot a ground ball off David Freese's bat, but the '09 no.1 overall pick recovered and got a called strike three with a fastball to Cards' outfielder Tyler Henley to end a long first after 20 pitches, 13 strikes...

• Innings 2-4 After The JUMP...

• Check out the Strasburg/GameThread.

• Post Game Tweet Hints At Strasburg's Future. CLICK HERE.

• Jason LaRue went down looking at a 1-2 bender that had the veteran catcher flinching. Ruben Gotay got a 97 mph fastball up high to start his AB, and worked the count full against the Nationals' future ace when Strasburg tried for a called strike inside on a 2-2 heater that the Ump didn't like. Gotay managed to foul off a full-count fastball before swinging through a 97 mph heater that was fouled into Pudge's glove. A low fastball to Kyle McLellan was called ball one, then two straight heaters got Strasburg ahead, before a 97 mph fastball was fouled off by the opposing pitcher. But a slow two-strike curve earned Strasburg his third straight K. 5 K's total in 2.0 IP. 16 pitches, 11 strikes total in the 2nd.

• In his first at bat since high school, Stephen Strasburg ripped a grounder off the shorstop Tyler Greene, who recovered and threw wide, but got the out when first baseman Allen Craig made the tag.

• Tyler Greene led off the third. Strasburg started with another fastball, that sunk in low for ball one. The next pitch was sent weakly to third for a groundout. Jon Jay took a 1-1 curve for ball two, and lined a single over Ian Desmond at short for a one-out hit. Allen Craig got a fastball low in the zone for strike one, a bender low for strike two, then a high heater he was meant to chase if he swung, followed by a change for a swinging K from the Nationals' future ace. A first pitch change to Stavinoha was followed by a fastball he couldn't even swing at, strike two, before a groundout to short ended Strasburg's third inning of work. 13 pitches, 9 strikes.

•  Sinking fastball for a swinging strike to start David Freese. Curve for a called strike outside. Strasburg goes with the slider outside on the 0-2 count. Freese fouled off one 0-2 pitch, then fouled a change into Pudge Rodriguez's glove. 7 K's. Tyler Henley took a fastball for a called strike. Strasburg threw a fastball up and over the plate that Henley managed to foul off, 0-2. A high fastball next from Strasburg that Henley fouls again, and then a change that Henley hits to center for a one-out single. A fastball for a strike to Jason LaRue, then a sinker low for a ball, 1-1. A foul to third got Strasburg ahead, 1-2. LaRue was ready for the curve this time, and fouled it off, and he fought off another fastball to raise Strasburg's pitch total to 63 according to Charlie and Dave. 64 was fouled as well. LaRue fouled off 65, throwing his bat at a strike outside. Pitch 66 was a fastball, fouled off again. 67 inside with the heat, and again fouled off. LaRue's making Strasburg earn it, and he does with a swinging K on a fastball, for his 8th K and the second out of the inning. Ruben Gotay with two out and one on, fouled off a 1-1 fastball in at 95 mph, and took a curve low in the zone that Pudge managed to block. Strasburg got the groundout with the next pitch and ended the fourth. 

• Final Line: Strasburg 4.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 ER, 2 HR, 8 K's, 4 groundouts, 0 flyouts. 73 pitches, 53 strikes according to @NatsTownNews.

• If that was Starsburg's final start of the Spring: 2010 Spring Stats: 9.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 1 BB, 12 K's, 149 pitches, 97 strikes courtesy @markzuckerman.

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