Stephen Strasburg suffered the worst start of his professional career and despite the offense producing 13 hits and 10 runs, they could never catch up as the Washington Nationals dropped a 12-10 decision to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday at Coors Field in Denver.
Strasburg had trouble right off the bat in the first. Charlie Blackmon led off with a double, DJ LeMahieu singled and David Dahl walked to load the bases. Nolan Arenado laced a single to left to plate one run, and Gerardo Parra followed with a double to clear the bases, and put the Nats down 4-0, before Strasburg had recorded an out.
Daniel Descalso walked, and the Nats finally got an out on a ground ball by Ben Paulsen. But Backup catcher Tony Wolters doubled to the right-field corner and another run scored. Pitcher Jon Gray then slashed a double to the right-center gap to plate two more and it was 7-0 after one out.
Strasburg whiffed Blackmon and LeMahieu to end the inning, mercifully. But not without its toll. Strasburg threw a whopping 42 pitches in the frame.
The Nats (70-49) got one back in the second. Bryce Harper led off with a single to left, then came all the way around to score — running through Bobby Henley’s stop sign — on Anthony Rendon’s double with one out. Brian Goodwin followed with a ground-ball single and Rendon scored easily to make it 7-2.
But any potential momentum was squandered in the next inning.
A one-out walk to Arenado cost Strasburg another run when Parra’s innocent-looking soft line drive made it to the left-center gap for a triple, with and Arenado scoring without a throw. The eight earned runs marked a new career-high against Strasburg.
It didn’t stop there though. Paulsen bounced one to deep first and Daniel Murphy made the play, but Strasburg didn’t get over quickly enough and Parra walked home to make it 9-2. After Wolters singled to center, manager Dusty Baker decided he’d seen enough and pulled his embattled starter.
Strasburg’s final line was ugly: 1.2 IP, 9 hits, 9 earned runs, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. He threw 71 pitches to get five outs, just 46 for strikes.
Koda Glover, just recalled from Syracuse, then walked the pitcher after getting him 0-2. But Charlie Blackmon’s bid for a grand slam died on the warning track in right center and the Nats escaped any further damage.
The Nats picked up a pair in the fourth. Rendon led off with a single and went to second on Danny Espinosa’s one-out single. Wilmer Difo pinch0hit for Glover and got a ground ball through the left side to plate Rendon, with Espinosa moving to third. Trea Turner drove a fly ball to center, and Espinosa walked home with the Nats fourth run.
The Nats drew closer still in the fifth. Murphy drew a four-pitch walk from reliever Christian Bergman, then Bryce Harper clubbed a mammoth homer to right, his first since July 20, covering 17 games.
But the Rockies answered, as Wolters pounded his third homer of the season, a solo shot off Oliver Perez, who continued his struggles getting fellow lefties out. Perez then walked Ryan Raburn and hit Blackmon -- another lefty hitter.
Matt Belisle took over, and LeMahieu greeted him with a soft line drive up the middle, which plated Raburn After a force out moved Blackmon over to third, he came into score on a sac fly by Arenado to up the Rockies’ lead to 12-6.
The Nats kept chipping away. A one-out double by Turner off Jordan Lyles in the sixth turned into another run, as he scored on a wild pitch to Murphy later in the inning.
Pinch-hitter Pedro Severino hit his first Major League home run in the seventh to make it 12-8.
Turner led off the eighth with a triple, his sixth in 30 games played this season, and scored easily on Werth’s sacrifice fly to the track in left. But Boone Logan came in and struck out Murphy and Harper to quash the rally.
Chris Heisey made it 12-10 with two outs in the ninth with his seventh home run of the season.
WP: Logan (2-2) LP: Strasburg (15-4) SV: Oberg (1) HR: Harper (21), Severino (1), Heisey (7), Wolters (3) E: Paulsen (1).
NEXT GAME: Thursday at Atlanta Braves at 7:10 p.m. ET. Reynaldo Lopez (1-1. 5.74) faces Rob Whalen (1-1. 7.31).
- Jayson Werth extended his team record on-base streak to 45 games with a walk in the third inning.
- With Washington’s win in the series opener, and Colorado’s win last night, the Rockies hold the edge in the all-time series between the two teams, 45-32. The Rockies have a 22-8 record against the Nationals in Coors Field in the all-time matchup. Since 2013, however, the Nationals hold a 13-8 edge over the Rockies in the head-to-head matchups between the two teams.
- In today’s Nationals-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Anthony Rendon is 30 for 93 (.323 AVG) with 10 doubles, six home runs, nine walks and 13 runs scored in 105 PAs... since July 16th.
- In a bonus Nats-themed "Fun with Arbitrary End Points" segment: Trea Turner is 29 for 89 (.326 AVG) with five doubles, three triples, three home runs, three walks, nine steals, and 18 runs scored in 20 games... since July 24th.
- Rockies’ outfielder Charlie Blackmon has seven home runs in the last six games and nine in his last 11 games. Blackmon has hits in 36 of his last 42 games, going 61 for 175 over that stretch (.349 AVG).