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Stephen Strasburg K's 10, Sets Record, Washington Nationals Lose 2-1 To Chicago White Sox.

WASHINGTON - JUNE 18:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Chicago White Sox at Nationals Park on June 18, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JUNE 18: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Chicago White Sox at Nationals Park on June 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Tonight's Top 5: 

5. Mr. Strasburg, Mr. President: With rumors swirling that President Barack Obama would be in attendance at Nationals Park to see his beloved White Sox, Nats' starter Stephen Strasburg takes the mound to the now-familiar strains of the White Stripes "Seven Nation Army", wearing the Nationals' lucky red tops, red cap, white curly-W, white pants, and Strasburg gives up back-to-back hits to start things off, an infield single by Juan Pierre, who beats Strasburg to the bag and a bloop single to right by Omar Vizquel that puts runners on second and third with no outs. Alex Rios grounds out to third, Pierre scores, 1-0 White Sox. Strasburg strikes out the next two batters to limit the damage, 1-0 White Sox, and yes, Barack Obama's here in time to see his Sox take the lead...and he's wearing the White Sox cap again...

• Stephen Strasburg on Pierre's infield hit in the first: Were you late, or was Pierre too fast?

Stephen Strasburg: "I think it was a combination, you know, with a guy with that kind of speed it's got to be an instant reaction to get over there, I kinda took just a split second just to read where the ball was going, and that split second, he had an extra step and that's how much he beat me by."

• What do you think about having the President come to watch you pitch?

Stephen Strasburg: "It was awesome. Obviously, he's from Chicago, so he wanted to come watch the White Sox too, but it's been a great atmosphere these first two outings here, packed house, everybody's on their feet, it's pretty exciting."

4. Through 4.0 IP: Strasburg and the Nats are still down 1-0, but the 21-year-old right-hander has 7 K's on 46 pitches for 29 total in 3 starts, tying the record for most K's in a pitcher's first three starts set by J.R. Richards for the Astros in 1971. Strasburg gets his 8th K on a 1-2 change to Alexei Ramirez to break the record, and his 9th K on a 2-2 change to Gordon Beckham in the next at bat, which ends the fifth. Strasburg has 9 K's on 56 pitches, 42 strikes, and that's after a 19-pitch first inning...unreal...Here's the official word on the record from a USA Today article by Mel Antonen entitled, "Nationals' Stephen Strasburg sets a new strikeout record for first three games":

"UPDATE, 8:06 p.m., ET: With President Obama watching, Strasburg's strikeouts of Alexei Ramirez and Gordon Beckham in fifth inning gives him 31 strikeouts, a record for a pitcher in his first three starts. The old record was 29 by J.R. Richard in 1971 with the Houston Astros."

• Stephen, What do you think about setting the record?

Stephen Strasburg: "That wasn't a goal of mine. It's never going to be a goal of mine. You know, my goal is to go out there and help the team win. It's all about wins and losses at this level, I mean, you can go out there and strike everybody out, but at the end of the day if you don't keep your team in striking distance then what does that all matter."

• Strasburg's Line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K's, 85 pitches, 59 strikes, 7 groundouts, 4 flyouts. 

3. Gavin Floyd's Rising To Challenge: Before Ian Desmond's one-out single in the sixth, White Sox' starter Gavin Floyd had faced the minimum number of batters, giving up a one-out walk to Josh Willingham in the second, and a leadoff single to Roger Bernadina in the third before erasing each runner with double play grounders in the next AB's...In the sixth, Floyd erases Desmond as well, striking out Strasburg on a bunt attempt for the second out of the sixth and getting help from his catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who picks Desmond off when he strays too far from first. Floyd's faced the minimum through six...

• Gavin Floyd's Line: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K's, 106 pitches, 70 strikes, 12 groundouts, 5 flyouts.

2. DONKEY!!!! - The one run Floyd surrenders comes in the seventh, when Ryan Zimmerman hits a two-out single in to center, bringing up the red-hot Adam Dunn, who doubles just to the left of center, and off the wall, Zim scores from first and it's tied at 1-1!! Adam Dunn's 20th double and 39th RBI tie it at 1-1 after seven...and it's still tied after nine...FREE BASEBALL!!!!!!!

1. E: 62 - Two outs, Mark Kotsay on third after a leadoff single, sac bunt and groundout move him around the bases. Nats' right-hander Drew Storen, in his second inning of work, gets squeezed on a 2-1 slider outside to Alex Rios that the entire crowd of 40,000+ wants called a strike, and on the next pitch, Rios rips a sharp grounder to third, Zimmerman dives to make the play, pops up and throws to first, high, off Dunn's outstretched glove. Kotsay scores, 2-1 White Sox. Zimmerman's charged with the error, his 8th, the Nationals' 62nd of the year...

• Miss The Game? 40,325 Of The DC Faithful Were In Nats Park, And Watching Here Too...


Num Name - Comments
1 StrasburgSavior - 272
2 ryzim - 101
3 MissB - 88
4 RoscoeNats - 87
5 natsstats - 41
6 lynxtheone - 30
7 bluelineswinger - 26
8 cat daddy3000 - 22
9 Winston Smith - 17
10 rachel216 - 16


• Final Score: White Sox 2, Nationals 1.

Washington Nationals now 31-37. 


1 - Juan Pierre beats Stephen Strasburg to the bag and has an infield single to lead off the second home start of Strasburg's major league career. Omar Vizquel hits a bloop single to right, second and third with no outs. Alex Rios grounds out to first, Adam Dunn tosses to Strasburg, 1-0 White Sox, one down. Strasburg drops a sinking 1-2 change under Paul Konerko's bat for K no.1. Carlos Quentin swings over a 2-2 change for strike three and the end of the first...Nyjer Morgan lines out to Alex Rios in center. Cristian Guzman pops out to left, two down. Ryan Zimmerman flies to right-center to end the first. 

2 - A.J. Pierzinsky grounds out to Guzman at second. Alexei Ramirez flies out to Morgan in center. Gordon Beckham gets a 2-2 bender and doesn't have a chance, 3 K's for Strasburg, 1-0 White Sox...Adam Dunn shoots the first pitch to first for Konerko, one down. Josh Willingham works a one-out walk in front of Ivan Rodriguez. Pudge grounds to first, Konerko spins and throws to second, Alexei Ramirez to first, double play. 

3 - Strasburg vs the Opposing Pitcher. Not fair, 0-2 bender, K no.4. Juan Pierre down 0-2, and it's K no.5 with a 100mph heater upstairs and Pierre not able to hold back. Omar Vizquel grounds out to second, 1-2-3 third for Strasburg...Roger Bernadina starts the Nats' third with a single up the middle. Ian Desmond grounds to short, Alexei Ramirez to Gordon Beckham to Paul Konerko, double play. Strasburg down swinging. 1-0 Sox after three.

4 - Strasburg's back on the mound in the fourth. Alex Rios gets two curves and a change and he's down swinging quickly. Paul Konerko flies out to center. Carlos Quentin is K no.7...Nyjer Morgan grounds out to second to start the Nats' fourth. Guzman grounds out. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to Carlos Quentin in right, three up, three down for the Nats in the fourth. 

5 - A.J. Pierzynski grounds out to second on the first pitch he sees. 1-2 change to get Alexei Ramirez for Strasburg's 8th K, and a 2-2 change for K no.9, Beckham goes down. 56 pitches, 42 strikes, 9 K's...Adam Dunn K's swinging to start the Nats' 5th. Josh Willingham down swinging too. Pudge Rodriguez grounds back to the mound. 1-0 Sox after five. 

6 - Strasburg vs Gavin Floyd. Floyd gets a line drive by Dunn at first for a leadoff single. Juan Pierre hits a slow one-hopper to short, Desmond takes the force at second. Omar Vizquel pops out to short right. Strasburg pops Alex Rios up over the infield. 1-0 White Sox in the sixth....Roger Bernadina grounds to second to start the Nats' sixth. Ian Desmond singles through short on a sharp one-hopper. Strasburg K's trying to bunt and Desmond gets picked off of first, double play the ugly way. 

7 - Strasburg vs Konerko to start the seventh. Full-count fastball, liner by Desmond at short on one hop. Leadoff runner on. Carlos Quentin grounds into a force at second, but beats the DP throw to first. Dunn fields and throws to second for the force on Pierzynski's grounder. Strasburg drops an 0-2 curve on Alexei Ramirez and gets his 10th K of the night to end the Sox' seventh...Nyjer Morgan K's swinging to start the Nats' seventh. Guzman flies out to left, two down. Ryan Zimmerman singles to center to get Dunn up. Adam Dunn doubles off the center field wall, Zimmerman scores from first and it's tied at 1-1 in the seventh. Josh Willingham spins one to second to end the seventh. 1-1 tie. 

8 - Tyler Clippard takes over for the Nationals in the eighth. Gavin Floyd swings through a fastball at eye-level. Juan Pierre grounds to first, Guzman covers, 1-2-3 eighth for Clippard...Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez grounds weakly to third, one down. Roger Bernadina flies out to left field. Two down. Desmond grounds back to the mound to end the eighth, still 1-1. 

9 - Matt Capps is on the mound in the top of the ninth. Omar Vizquel grounds out to second, one down. Alex Rios grounds about a foot in front of Pudge, who throws to first. Two down. Ian Desmond gets to Konerko's grounder up the middle and throws across his body to get the final out of the Sox' ninth...Matt Thornton on for Chicago. Mike Morse up to hit for the Nats. Nyjer Morgan lines a one-out single to right!! Cristian Guzman lines to third, Omar Vizquel drops it but recovers and throws to first. Ryan Zimmerman gets the intentionals to bring up Dunn. Adam Dunn goes down swinging to end the ninth. 

10 - Drew Storen starts the tenth on the mound for the Nats. Carlos Quentin takes a full-count fastball low and outside for a leadoff walk. Sac bunt by Pierzynski to move Quentin's pinch runner Brent Lillibridge to second. Alexei Ramirez flies out to right, Lillibridge takes third on the fly. Gordon Beckham lines to right center and it's in the ga-- NYJER MORGAN GETS THERE!!! 1-1 in the tenth...J.J. Putz on for Chicago. Josh Willingham grounds out to third. One down. Ivan Rodriguez goes down swinging. Two outs. Roger Bernadina grounds to second to end the tenth. 

11 - Drew Storen's back out for the eleventh. Mark Kotsay singles to right to start the Sox' eleventh. Juan Pierre bunts Kotsay over. Omar Vizquel grounds out to first, Dunn tosses to Storen, two down, Kotsay to third. Alex Rios rips a grounder to third, Zim gets it, pops up and throws to first, too high, and off Dunn's outstretched glove. Kotsay scores, 2-1 White Sox. Storen walks Konerko to get to Andruw Jones. Jones grounds out to short to end the Sox' eleventh... Bobby Jenks on to end it. Ian Desmond lines out to Alexei Ramirez at short, one down. Willie Harris hits for Storen and lines to second. Two down. Nyjer Morgan grounds out to first to end the game.