Washington Nationals 6-1 Over Philadelphia Phillies: Stephen Strasburg Records 9 Ks, 11 Groundouts In 8.0 IP In Series Finale

Patrick McDermott

Washington Nationals' right-hander Stephen Strasburg is starting to make a habit of going into the eighth inning after having never done so before this season. This afternoon in Nationals Park, the right-hander held the Philadelphia Phillies to one run on five hits in 8.0 IP in a 6-1 Nats' win in the series finale.

Stephen Strasburg got the first out of this afternoon's game with one pitch to Philadelphia Phillies' leadoff man Jimmy Rollins, who flew out to Denard Span in center field in Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals' 24-year-old right-handed starter threw 31 pitches in the first last time out against the Giants in San Francisco's AT&T Park. This afternoon in the nation's capital, the Nats' '09 no.1 overall pick needed nine pitches to retire the side in order in his eleventh start of 2013.

Bryce Harper, whose first at bat against Cole Hamels famously ended in a HBP when the two teams met last May, improved to 6 for 14 in his career vs the Phillies' lefty after he reached on an infield single and took second when Freddy Galvis threw well wide of first on a laudable attempt at a play on the grounder. Harper stole his second base of the year before Ryan Zimmerman struck out swinging for out no.2, but Harp was stranded at third when Hamels got Adam LaRoche swinging too, to strike out the side in a 25-pitch frame. 0-0 after one.

Ryan Zimmerman made a backhand play and only slightly wide throw to first to get Delmon Young for Stephen Strasburg's fourth straight out to start the game. Steve Lombardozzi handled a groundout to second for out no.2 of the second and no.5 overall. Kevin Frandsen took a 100 mph fastball to the arm from Henry Rodriguez in last night's game. He squared to bunt in his two-out at bat this afternoon, and got hit on the hand for what should have been a strike but was incorrectly, at least according to Davey Johnson's argument, ruled a HBP. Ben Revere spit on a 2-2 curve in the dirt from Strasburg, and lined the first hit of the game to right for a two-out single that moved Frandsen to third with two down, but a grounder to short by Humberto Quintero and a force at third ended the Nats' starter's second scoreless inning of work after 15 pitches. 24 overall after two. Five ground ball outs. #P2C?

Ian Desmond thought he got all of an 89 mph 1-1 change from Cole Hamels, [ed. note - "And so did Bob Carpenter. Sorry, Carp!] but the wind knocked the ball down at the track where it fell into a waiting Domonic Brown's glove for the first out of the Nats' second. A 3-2 change got Tyler Moore swinging for out no.2 and Hamel's fourth K. A diving 1-2 four-seamer to Jhonatan Solano made it five Ks on 40 pitches in 2.0 IP after a 15-pitch second for the Phillies' left-hander.

Hamels worked the count full and singled through the right side of the infield to start the top of the third. A check-swinging bunt by Jimmy Rollins moved the pitcher to second and allowed Ryan Zimmerman to do his thing for the first out of the frame. After charging the ball and making a sidearm throw for the first out of the inning, Zimmerman caught a foul pop at the wall down the third base line for out no.2. Stephen Strasburg painted the outside edge with a 96 mph fastball for a called strike three on Michael Young and the final out of the Phillies' third. The 18-pitch inning had the Nats' right-hander at 42 overall in 3.0 scoreless.

Stephen Strasburg doubled to right with one down in the Nationals' half of the third, but Denard Span flew to center for out no.2 and Bryce Harper was 6 for 15 career vs Hamels when he K'd swinging at a 2-2 change in the dirt to end a 15-pitch inning by the Philly lefty, who was at 55 pitches overall.

A full-count fastball broke inside late on its way to the plate to get Delmon Young swinging for out no.1 of the fourth and Strasburg's 2nd K. A brutal, diving, 90 mph 0-2 change got Domonic Brown swinging for out no.2 and K no.3 and Strasburg got up 0-2 on the Phillies' Kevin Frandsen and got him to chase a curve in the dirt for a check swing strike three that had Frandsen so angry he slammed his bat at home and got tossed by home plate ump Mike Winters. 12 pitches, 3 Ks for 4 total and 54 pitches overall in 4.0 scoreless.

After Strasburg struck out the side, Cole Hamels retired the Nationals in order in a 12-pitch fourth of his own, that had the Phillies' lefty at 67 overall on the afternoon.

Stephen Strasburg had seven ground ball outs from the first 16 batters he faced after Ben Revere bunted/rolled one out to the mound for the first out of the fifth. A 2-2 curve to Humberto Quintero fooled the Phillies' catcher who took it for a called strike three on the eighth pitch of his one-out AB. Out no.2 and K no.5 for Stephen Strasburg. Cole Hamels grounded to short to end the frame. Grounder. Desmond. Out. 67 pitches total for the Nats' right-handed starter after a 13-pitch top of the fifth.

Cole Hamels got flies to center and left for the first two outs of the Nationals' fifth, and a groundout to second by Steve Lombardozzi ended the inning after nine pitches with the left-hander at 76 pitches overall.

Stephen Strasburg had retired nine-straight Phillies going back to Cole Hamels leadoff hit in the third when he took the mound for the top of the sixth. Jimmy Rollins was no.10 in-a-row. Philadelphia's leadoff man was punched out on another check-swing strike three when he couldn't hold up on a brutal 82 mph 2-2 curve in the dirt. Freddy Galvis sent a soft liner to center to snap Strasburg's streak of retired batters at 10, but two pitches later he was doubled up when Strasburg's ninth ground ball out of the game started a 4-6-3 inning-ending DP. 11 of 12 Phillies set down. 79 pitches total after a 12-pitch 6th.

And Strasburg was 2 for 2 at the plate after singling to left off Hamels to start the home-half of the inning. The Nats' pitcher was forced out at second on a Denard Span grounder to third, but there was no way the Phillies' were doubling the Nationals' leadoff man up. They did, however, double up Bryce Harper when he grounded into a 6-4-3 inning-ender in the next at bat. 0-0 after six in the series finale.

Delmon Young battled for nine pitches before striking out on the 81 mph light-as-air bender which followed a 98 mph fastball Young managed to foul off. 7 Ks for Strasburg. An 88 mph 2-2 change got Domonic Brown swinging for out no.2 and K no.8. Laynce Nix managed to foul off an 0-2 change outside, but he took an 0-2 heater for a called strike three and Strasburg's ninth K. 18-pitch inning for the Nationals' right-hander and 97 overall after 7.0 scoreless in Nationals Park.

Ryan Zimmerman reached on an infield single to start the Nationals' seventh on a questionable call, took second on a single to right by Adam LaRoche and advanced to third when Ian Desmond decided to bunt both runners over in front of Tyler Moore. Cole Hamels pitched carefully around Tyler Moore for three pitches before making his intentions clear with ball four. Jhonatan Solano stepped in with a chance to give the Nats the lead. Solano (aka Onion) fell behind 1-2, but sent a swinging bunt towards third on the next pitch, and Michael Young tried for the play at home, but threw it right by Humberto Quintero. Zimmerman scores, 1-0 Nationals. 2-0 when LaRoche follows him in on the E. And Steve Lombardozzi makes it 4-0 with a double to right in the next AB. Two runs score on Lombo's hit, and an E9 moves Lombardozzi to third. And a Denard Span double brought Lombardozzi in to make it 5-0 after seven in D.C.

Stephen Strasburg came out for the eighth at 97 pitches and gave up a sliced single to center by Ben Revere on his 100th pitch of the game. Humberto Quintero dumped a two-out hit into short-center for the second straight hit. Pinch hitter Ryan Howard stepped in with two on and no outs, and grounded into a 4-6-3 DP. Two down. 10 groundouts. Jimmy Rollins got to a 2-2 count and the home plate ump called a balk to force in the Phillies' first run before Rollins grounded out to second to end the top of the eighth. 11 groundouts. 15-pitch inning, 112 overall.

Stephen Strasburg's line: 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 Balk, 9 Ks, 112 P, 76 S, 11/1 GO/FO.

Adam LaRoche doubled for the fifth time this season to start the bottom of the eighth, tooko third on an Ian Desmond groundout and scored on a Tyler Moore single, 6-1 Nationals after eight.

Tyler Clippard came out to work the top of the ninth. Freddy Galvis flew out to center. ONE!!! Michael Young took a 3-2 fastball for a called strike three and out no.2. TWO!!! Delmon Young fell behind 0-2 and 39,033 fans (most of them Nats fans) stood to cheer as Clippard popped Young up to the catcher to end the game. 1-2-3 the Nationals win and take two of three from the Phillies in D.C.

Nationals now 26-24

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