Heading into this afternoon's matchup in Cincinnati, Ohio's Great American Ball Park, Washington Nationals' right-hander Stephen Strasburg was (9-0) on the year with the Nats 11-0 in his outings.
In his last fifteen starts, going back to last September, the Nationals were 15-0 when the '09 No. 1 overall pick took the mound and Washington was 22-2 when Strasburg's turn in the rotation came around since he returned from the DL on July 4th of last season.
After dropping the series opener to the Reds last night, 7-2, the Nationals needed a strong outing from Strasburg in the second game of three in GABP.
Strasburg didn't factor in the decision, in what ended up a 6-3 loss, but he gave the Nats a solid start, striking out 10 batters in 5 ⅓, before he left the game with one down in the Reds' sixth, after giving up a leadoff walk, a two-run, go-ahead home run by Joey Votto and a one-out single by Jay Bruce. He appeared to have issues with his right leg/calf.
More info on the issue when it's available.
Here's what led up to his exit...
Strasburg was given an early lead to work with after a scoreless, 14-pitch first, courtesy of his suddenly-hot-hitting third baseman.
Wilson Ramos lined an 0-1 fastball from Dan Straily to right for an opposite field double with one out in the second and Anthony Rendon hit a 1-2 change out to left on a line for a two-run blast and a 2-0 lead. Rendon's 5th.
Jay Bruce cut the Nationals' lead in half with one swing, taking a 2-1 change outside to the left of center for a solo shot in the first at bat of the Reds' second.
It stayed 2-1 in the Nats' favor through six and a half, but coming out of a 20-minute-ish rain delay, Strasburg gave up a leadoff walk in the Reds' seventh and a two-run home run by Joey Votto in the next at bat. Votto hit a 1-1 curve out to right field for the go-ahead blast, his 10th of the season. 3-2 Reds.
Strasburg got a visit from the Nationals' trainer and skipper Dusty Baker when he appeared uncomfortable during his seventh inning at bat vs Brandon Phillips. He struck Phillips out, but left the game after a one-out single by Jay Bruce.
• Stephen Strasburg's Line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 Ks, 2 HRs, 97 P, 61 S, 3/1 GO/FO.
• Dan Straily's Line: 7.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 95 P, 57 S, 5/5 GO/FO.
Ross Ohlendorf took over for the Reds in the eighth and retired two batters before giving up a game-tying solo shot to right by Danny Espinosa, who crushed a 3-0 fastball. 3-3 game. Espinosa's 8th.
Felipe Rivero gave up a one-out walk to Joey Votto and a two-out single by Jay Bruce that put runners on first and third with two down. Shawn Kelley took over at that point... well, not until after a second rain delay... and gave up a three-run home run to left on a hanging 1-2 slider to Adam Duvall. 6-3 Reds.
That's how it ended. Nationals drop two straight to the Reds...
Nationals now 33-23
- Last night's win gave Cincinnati a 40-33 advantage in the all-time series with Washington (2005-present), but the Nationals are just 14-24 in Great American Ball Park since 2005.
- Last night's loss left the Nationals 18-11 on the road this season, with the second-best record on the road in the NL this season, behind only the Chicago Cubs (17-8) and San Francisco Giants (19-11).
- Last nights' win for the Reds was their 5th in the last seven games and 3rd in the last four.
- Cincinnati improved to 6-1 against Washington in the last two seasons with last night's win, with wins in 5 of their last 6 in Great American Ball Park.
- Wilson Ramos doubled in a pinch hit appearance last night, leaving him with a .342 AVG on the year after 55 games, and he currently leads all major league catchers -- who have a minimum of 150 PAs) in AVG, OBP (.387) and SLG (.546).
- In today's "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Jayson Werth's home run to right last night was his third home run in the last five games, and he's gone 5 for 18 with three home runs and a double... since May 19th.
- Daniel Murphy started the night leading the league in multi-hit games (26) and batting average (.386).
- Stephen Strasburg was making his sixth start against the Reds in his career this afternoon and the fifth in GABP. He was (1-1) with a 5.68 ERA vs Cincinnati before today.
Nationals now 33-23