For the fourth time in five starts this month, Stephen Strasburg and Jose Lobaton are teaming up tonight in the second game of three for the Washington Nationals in Seattle, WA's Safeco Field. The Nats beat the Mariners 8-3 last night to improve to 10-0 in Interleague action against the AL West franchise since baseball returned to the nation's capital in 2005.
Tonight the Nationals send the '09 no.1 overall pick to the mound in the Mariners' home hoping to make it two straight this season and eleven in-a-row overall vs Seattle.
The Nats are also hoping to get better results out of Strasburg, who lasted just four innings last time out in Sunday's series finale with the San Francisco Giants.
The 26-year-old right-hander struggled in that outing in the nation's capital, giving up eight hits and five runs, all earned before he was hit for when the Nationals rallied in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Strasburg focused in two strong outings leading up to last weekend's start on pounding hitters inside with his fastball, but as Nats' skipper Matt Williams put it, last Sunday, "he didn't get it there."
When you're trying to go inside and you miss, Williams explained, it's trouble.
"If it's not in, it's middle," he said. "He threw some good fastballs down and away to the right-handers today. But he also missed location a few times and they got him. That's part of pitching, it happens."
In his two previous outings, on the road in New York's Citi Field, and at home in Nationals Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Strasburg gave up just six hits and two runs, one earned in 15 IP, earning back-to-back wins to improve to (10-10) on the year after 27 starts.
In four August starts with Lobaton catching, Strasburg has surrendered 17 hits and seven runs, six earned, in 26 IP for a 2.08 ERA.
In the one start in which he worked with Wilson Ramos this month, Strasburg gave up seven hits, four of them home runs and seven runs total in a 7-6 loss to the Braves on the road in Atlanta, though it's hard to blame Ramos for the right-hander's continued struggles in Turner Field.
Since they're playing under American League rules tonight, Ramos is able to remain in the lineup and serve as the DH in the second game of three in Safeco Field, where the 26-year-old backstop hit two runs last night.
In 20 games in August, Ramos is 24 for 80 (.300/.309/.563) with three doubles and six home runs in 81 plate appearances.
Here are the lineups for tonight's game, which starts at 9:10 PM in the nation's capital:
|WASHINGTON NATIONALS||SEATTLE MARINERS|
|Denard Span - CF||Austin Jackson - CF|
|Anthony Rendon - 3B||Dustin Ackley - LF|
|Jayson Werth - RF||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|Adam LaRoche - 1B||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Ian Desmond - SS||Kyle Seager - 3B|
|Bryce Harper - LF||Logan Morrison - 1B|
|Wilson Ramos - DH||Chris Taylor - SS|
|Asdrubal Cabrera - 2B||James Jones - RF|
|Jose Lobaton - C||Jesus Sucre - C|
|Stephen Strasburg - RHP||Roenis Elias - LHP|