On Nationals' starter Stephen Strasburg's struggles against the Braves in 2014

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves have caused Stephen Strasburg all kinds of issues with their approach against the Washington Nationals' 25-year-old right-hander this season and in seasons past. Last night in D.C., they ran his pitch count up and even hit his two-strike pitches.

After two 2014 starts against the Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals' right-hander Stephen Strasburg has a 6.10 ERA in 10 ⅓ IP in which he's given up 17 hits, 10 runs, seven earned and three walks.

The 25-year-old, '09 no.1 overall pick has struck out 14 Braves' batters in those two starts.

They've put up a combined .347/.385/.469 line in those two outings.

The first time out in early April in Nationals Park, he was knocked out after just 4 ⅓ IP in which he threw 96 pitches, giving up eight hits, seven of them singles.

"Sometimes, make that same pitch and they're going to swing through it or foul it off or hit into a double play, but they just kept on hitting line drives." -Stephen Strasburg after April start vs Atlanta

"You're going to have games like that and you've just got to tip your cap," he told reporters after the outing. "They had some quality ABs and didn't try and do too much."

"That's kind of how baseball is. Sometimes, make that same pitch and they're going to swing through it or foul it off or hit into a double play, but they just kept on hitting line drives."

"Just didn't execute pitches well enough," he explained. "Left some pitches up over the plate and if you hit enough singles in a row, you're going to score a few runs."

Last night in the nation's capital, the Braves were able to run Strasburg's pitch count up again.

He was up to 47 pitches after two innings, having given up just one run on a Freddie Freeman home run. A 15-pitch third left him at 62. A 22-pitch fourth pushed him up 84.

In that fourth inning, the Braves strung together three straight singles, with both Chris Johnson, on an 0-2 curve, and Andrelton Simmons on a 1-2 fastball, doing what hitters league-wide have found difficult to do.

Johnson's hit was just the fourth hit Strasburg has allowed on an 0-2 pitch this season (4 for 48, .083 AVG).

"He was aggressive within the strike zone today. It's not easy to hit them with two strikes against him, but they did." -Matt Williams on Stephen Strasburg vs the Braves on Friday

Simmons' hit was just the 8th in 80 ABs this season against Strasburg on 1-2 pitches.

"It happens sometimes," Nats' skipper Matt Williams told reporters after what ended up a 6-4 extra innings loss to the Braves. "But he was aggressive within the strike zone today. It's not easy to hit them with two strikes against him, but they did."

"I felt pretty good out there," Strasburg told reporters. "I just didn't pitch enough. Got too one-sided on the plate and they made the adjustment."

Asked how the Braves managed to push his pitch count up so high so quickly, Strasburg said it was simple.

"I executed pitches, they just went up there fighting and fouled a lot of pitches off."

As for the Braves' hits on two-strike pitches?

"I just didn't pitch enough. Got too one-sided on the plate and they made the adjustment." -Stephen Strasburg on facing the Braves on Friday

"You can always execute a little better," he said. "But it happens. Sometimes they hit it. Like I said two seconds ago, I just got two one-sided and I need to pitch better."

Getting "too one-sided," he said meant stubbornly throwing the same pitches in the same location.

"Keep trying to throw the pitch in the same spot," Strasburg said, "they're going to make the adjustment."

His fifth inning at bat with Jason Heyward was the perfect example.

After falling behind 2-1 to the Braves' outfielder, Strasburg kept throwing fastballs which Heyward fouled off before finally lining what the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore noted was the 18th fastball he saw in 19 pitches from Strasburg on the night to right for a two-run double that gave the Braves a 4-1 lead.

"I guess it was the plan going in," Strasburg said of attacking Heyward with fastballs. "I don't think it's the right plan, but that's what we went with."

Strasburg's outing ended with a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth that left him at 107 pitches after six innings of work in which he gave up nine hits and four runs, all earned while walking no one and striking out six.

"Stras is fine," Williams said. "He gave up the double to Heyward, which gave them a couple, but all in all he was okay. A lot of pitches today though, early pitches, they made him work."

On the year, after last night's outing, Strasburg is (6-5) with a 3.24 ERA, 2.43 FIP, 20 walks (1.80 BB/9) and 121 Ks (10.89 K/9) in 100 IP over which he's been worth +2.8 fWAR.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker