With an opportunity to earn a split of their four-game set with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Washington Nationals sent right-hander Stephen Strasburg to the mound this afternoon in the nation's capital.
Strasburg, 27, took the hill (8-0) in ten starts this season, with the Nationals 10-0 in his outings in 2016. He was (11-0) in his last 14 starts as wel, over which the Nationals were 14-0.
In his last 23 turns in the rotation, going back to his return from the second of two DL stints last season, the Nationals were 21-2 with the '09 No. 1 overall pick on the mound heading into today's finale with the Cards.
Strasburg started with 3 ⅓ scoreless, but a 3-2 change up and in to Cardinals' right fielder Brandon Moss ended up in the second deck in right for a solo home run that made it 1-0 St. Louis. No. 9 for Moss.
Michael Wacha got the start for St. Louis in their final regular season matchup with the Nationals this afternoon.
In his last three outings before today's, he'd failed to go beyond the fourth, giving up a total of 20 runs, 16 earned in 12 IP over that stretch.
Wacha threw 3.0 scoreless and hitless innings start today's game, but a leadoff double by Michael A. Taylor and an RBI single by Bryce Harper tied things up at 1-1 a half inning after the Cards took the lead.
Ryan Zimmerman hit an opposite field double to right one out later, bouncing a near-homer off the outfield wall, and Wilson Ramos followed with a two-out, two-run single to right that put the Nationals ahead, 3-1.
Strasburg worked around leadoff walks in the fifth and sixth innings to keep it a 3-1 game, and he was done after 104 pitches total on the day.
• Stephen Strasburg's Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 1 HR, 104 P, 66 S, 4/7 GO/FO.
Oliver Perez gave up leadoff and one-out singles in the top of the seventh and Blake Treinen gave up a base-loading chopper to short by Matt Holliday. Dusty Baker went to the pen for the third pitcher of the inning, Felipe Rivero.
Matt Adams got the Cardinals within one with a sac fly to right field, but a fly to left by Randal Grichuk ended the threat.
It was a two-run lead again one batter into the Nats' half of the seventh after Anthony Rendon hit a first-pitch fastball from Jonathan Broxton to right for a solo blast, his 4th of the season, and a 4-2 lead.
Two singles (by Wilson Ramos and Danny Espinosa) and a walk to Ben Revere loaded the bases with one down and Jayson Werth stepped in against Cards' lefty Dean Kiekhefer and hit a 1-0 fastball to center for a grand slam. 8-2.
After Shawn Kelley threw a quick, scoreless eighth, Wilson Ramos took Tyler Lyons deep for a two-run blast in the Nats' half of the inning. No. 6 of 2016 for Ramos made it 10-2 Nationals.
Jonathan Papelbon finished it off in the ninth. Ballgame. 10-2 final.
Nationals now 30-21
- St. Louis improved to 45-31 against Washington since 2005 with last night's win, and the Cardinals are now 15-16 in Nationals Park since it opened in 2008.
- Washington is, however, 21-19 overall against St. Louis in the nation's capital since moving from Montreal in 2005.
- The Cardinals improved to 13-9 on the road this season with last night's win.
- St. Louis was 5 for 11 with runners in scoring position last night, leaving them with a major league-leading.301 AVG with RISP so far this season.
- Cardinals' hitters also have hit 22 home runs with runners in scoring position this season, four shy of their total HRs with RISP last season.
- The Cardinals' 68 HRs overall this season, are the second-most in the NL, behind only the New York Mets' 70 HRs.
- Ryan Zimmerman's four-hit game last night was the 11th four-hit game of his career and his two home runs gave him his 16th multi-home run game in the majors.
- Zimmerman's home run was his eighth of the season and the seventh in May, after he hit just one in April.
- In today's Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Ryan Zimmerman is hitting .263 with six doubles, seven home runs, eight walks and 16 runs scored... since May 1st.
- Daniel Murphy set a new Nationals' record (2005-present) with his one hit last night, which was his 41st of the month, one more than previous record-holder Denard Span collected in August of 2014.
- Heading into today's finale with the Cardinals, Murphy led the majors in multi-hit games with 24 in 48 games played, batting average (.390) and total hits (tied for first with 71).
- The Nationals' second baseman has also hit in 24 of his last 28 games, going 44 for 109 over that stretch (.403 AVG), seven doubles, five home runs and 17 runs scored.
- Before Sammy Solis allowed inherited runners to score last night, Nationals' relievers had stranded all of the 24 runners they inherited, going back to May 9th.
- In today's bonus Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Anthony Rendon, who returned to the lineup today after a night off last night, is 22 for 59 (.373 AVG), with six doubles, a triple. a home run and 12 walks... in his last 17 games, going back to May 10th. He homered in the seventh (1 for 3 today).
Nationals now 30-21