Stephen Strasburg doesn't need that much support. With last night's 6-1 win, the Washington Nationals improved to 50-7 all-time in starts of his in which the offense provides three runs or more of support while he's on the mound.
In the second game of three with the Colorado Rockies, the Nationals took a 3-0 lead early on a two-run double to right-center field by Nats' catcher Wilson Ramos and an RBI single to center by Ian Desmond, and they added to their lead when Ryan Zimmerman drove Bryce Harper in from first with a double to left in the fifth that made it 4-1.
The key, as always, Matt Williams told reporters after the game, is getting runners on to provide opportunities and then coming up with the big hits.
"For me it's base hits with runners in scoring position," he said.
"[Ramos], the big one to right center. [Zimmerman] scored Bryce from first and then came up with another one.
"The middle of our order has the ability to do that. We have to get guys on, which we did.
"Danny [Espinosa] had a nice game. He didn't get any hits, but he walked a couple of times, got on base and scored a couple of runs. Bryce as well. That extended attack is key for us."
The Nationals went 4 for 12 with runners in scoring position on the night.
Ramos got things started, taking a hanging 0-2 slider from Rockies' right-hander Eddie Butler to right-center field for a two-run double that brought both Clint Robinson and Desmond around for a 2-0 lead.
"It's a good sign," Williams said of the 1 for 3 night at the plate by the Nats' catcher. "He hit the ball hard to [Nolan] Arenado too. He pulled that fastball, so I like where he's at right now."
Harper went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. Zimmermann went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Ian Desmond went 2 for 3 with a run scored and a walk... and Stephen Strasburg went 3 for 3?
"He can really hit," Williams said. Strasburg also struck out 12 in seven innings in his return from the Disabled List.
As for the rest of the Nationals' hitters, especially those like Zimmerman, Rendon and Jayson Werth, who have just recently returned from their own DL stints?
"We've got a long way to go," the second-year skipper said. "We've got a lot of games left and a chance. So to add those guys to our roster, if you will, is important. That's the plan we had going into the season. We still haven't played with our full lineup, but to have those guys back, Zim feeling good, Stras feeling good, Anthony back in the lineup playing third and second gives versatility and Jayson's close, so all of that is important for us, it helps us win baseball games."
Can they win another and take two of three from the Rockies? Here's the lineup Williams is sending out for the series finale: