Stephen Strasburg's last outing ended with the 25-year-old right-hander one out away from his second complete game in three starts. A two-out RBI single by Chicago Cubs' outfielder Junior Lake and a two-run home run by Donnie Murphy ended the Washington Nationals' '09 no.1 overall pick's 25th start of the year after 112 pitches.
Strasburg entered the ninth inning at 97 pitches overall with a few 10 and 11-pitch innings along the way keeping him in the game and allowing him to go out in the ninth for just the second time in his major league career. Nats' skipper Davey Johnson was ready to go to the bullpen if he couldn't wrap it up though. "He was still low pitch count," Johnson said, "still throwing the ball very good. And I wasn't going to let him lose it. That's why I had [Rafael] Soriano warming up, if the winning run came up I was going to take him out... but what a great effort. I know he was upset, but he pitched one heck of a ballgame."
After 156 IP this season, Strasburg now has a 3.00 ERA, a 3.30 FIP, 47 walks (2.71 BB/9) and 162 Ks (9.35 K/9). At home in the nation's capital in 2013, the Nationals' starter has been dominant. He ranks third in the NL with a 1.58 ERA at home in Nationals Park, and as the Nats' pregame notes mention, "[Strasburg] has allowed one earned run or less in 8 of 13 DC starts, including 5 starts allowing no earned runs." Overall on the year, he's allowed two earned runs or less in 18 of 25 starts this season. Unfortunately, he's received the fourth-lowest average run support in the majors this year with the Nationals' offense giving him just 3.16 RS.
Strasburg takes on the Miami Marlins tonight, against whom he's (5-3) in 11 career starts with a 3.77 ERA, 5 HR (0.78 HR/9), 18 BB (2.83 BB/9), 53 Ks (8.32 K/9) and a 1.20 WHIP in 57 1/3 IP. After last night's tightly-contested 2-1 win, the Nats improved to 4-0 against the Fish in D.C. this season, having taken all three games of the season opening series in April in the last matchup between the divisional rivals in D.C. before Tuesday's game. The Nationals, however, have yet to beat the Marlins in five straight in Nationals Park since it opened in 2008...
• Here's the Nationals' lineup that will try to make it five-in-a-row over the Fish at home:
Today's lineup vs. MIA: Span 8, Zimmerman 5, Harper 7, Werth 9, Desmond 6, LaRoche 3, Ramos 2, Lombardozzi 4, Strasburg 1— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 28, 2013
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