In his last start before this afternoon's in Cleveland, Stephen Strasburg suffered his first loss of the season and his first loss overall since early September of 2015.
In his first seventeen starts this season, the 27-year-old right-hander was (13-0) with a 2.51 ERA, 33 BBs (2.98 BB/9) and 138 Ks (10.83 K/9) in 114 ⅔ innings pitched.
Dusty Baker talked after Strasburg's first loss in twenty-one outings about being impressed with the part of the stretch he's been around to see.
"During that streak, he was outstanding," Baker told reporters. "You know every streak is going to end, that's the best streak I've ever seen I think.
"It was just untimely that it ended today, but you knew it was going to end some day. So now we just go back to the drawing board and start a new streak."
In his first start against the Indians since 2013 today in Ohio's Progressive Field, Strasburg got right back to winning, tossing seven scoreless on 110 pitches and striking out seven batters on the way to a three-hit shutout improving to (W, 14-1) on the year with the win.
Trea Turner, who doubled to start the first, was 2 for 2 on the day after he hit a two-out, two-run, bases-loaded single to left field in the second that put the Nationals up 2-0 at the end of a long, 38-pitch inning by Indians' starter Carlos Carrasco, that left the right-hander at 52 pitches total after two.
Carrasco settled in nicely after the long second and retired ten-straight Nationals' hitters after Turner's two-run hit in the second, finishing five innings at 88 pitches overall.
Strasburg was up to 76 pitches total after he worked around a leadoff single in a 12-pitch fifth and he had a 3-0 lead to work with when he took the mound in the sixth, after Daniel Murphy hit a 2-2 change from Carrasco out to right for HR No. 20 of 2016 by the Nationals' second baseman. #FWAHHH!!
• Carlos Carrasco's Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 105 P, 69 S, 9/2 GO/FO.
Ryan Zimmerman singled on a pop to right that Jason Kipnis couldn't catch and moved around to third on a sac bunt and groundout before scoring on a broken-bat double to left by Turner (3 for 4, 3 RBIs) that put the Nationals up, 4-0.
Strasburg came back out for the seventh at 96 pitches and retired the side in order in a 14-pitch frame, adding two Ks for seven strikeouts total on 110 pitches.
• Stephen Strasburg's Line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 110 P, 71 S, 4/4 GO/FO.
Sammy Solis took over on the mound for the Nationals in the eighth and struck out two before a two-out single by Francisco Lindor ended his outing.
Matt Belisle came on with a runner on and two down and got a groundout to second to end the frame.
Felipe Rivero came out for the ninth with a 4-0 lead and gave up a one-out walk and back-to-back singles, 4-1, before he was done for the day. Blake Treinen took over with two on and one out and got a game-ending 4-6-3 DP.
Ballgame. On to San Francisco...
Nationals now 59-42
- Last night's win was Cleveland's fifth walk-off win of the season, with all five of them coming in the last 19 games.
- With the win in the first of two with the Washington Nationals, the Indians improved to 57-41 overall on the year, with the second-best record in the American League and the third-best record in the majors.
- Washington's 58-42 record after last night's loss was the third-best in the NL, behind only the San Francisco Giants (59-41) and Chicago Cubs (59-40).
- Washington's +108 run differential on the season is the second-best in the majors, behind only the Chicago Cubs' +146.
- The Indians improved to 6-4 against the Nationals in the all-time series between the two teams (2005-present) with the comeback victory, which was their 18th come-from-behind win of the season.
- Cleveland's 5.5-game lead in the AL Central is the biggest lead they've had this late in a season since 2007.
- In today's Indians-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Tyler Naquin, who came up with a big pinch hit double in last night's win, has collected 25 extra base hits... since June 3rd, the 4th-most in the AL over that stretch, behind only Josh Donaldson (28), Jonathan Schoop (27) and Edwin Encarnacion (26).
- The Indians connected for 3 runs (2 ER) off Jonathan Papelbon last night, after scoring three runs total in 17 games and 17 IP vs the closer in all of his relief appearances against Cleveland before last night's blown save.
- Jayson Werth doubled in his first at bat last night to extend his on-base streak to 29-straight games over which he's collected 24 hits, 10 doubles, two home runs and 24 walks, while posting a .387 OBP. He extended that streak with a walk in his first at bat this afternoon.
- Daniel Murphy appeared to have his 11-game hitting streak snapped last night, but what was originally ruled an E5 on a grounder by third in his first at bat was changed to a single this morning. A home run in the sixth game him a 12-game hit streak.
Nationals now 59-42