WASHINGTON, D.C.: Stephen Strasburg took a streak of 34-straight scoreless innings into the series finale with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night. It ended in the second inning when a Logan Forsythe fly to deep center bounced off Michael A. Taylor’s glove for what was ruled an RBI double by the official scorekeeper in Nationals Park.
Strasburg’s run of consecutive scoreless innings ended with the two-out double by the Dodgers’ No. 8 hitter, with a runner on third and the opposing pitcher on deck.
The streak went back to the first inning of his August 19th start against the San Diego Padres in Petco Park.
In five starts over the course of the streak, which started in his first outing off a stint on the Disabled List for a nerve impingement in his right elbow, Strasburg went (3-1), posting a 0.51 ERA, four walks (1.03 BB/9), 41 Ks (10.54 K/9) and a .175/.202/.233 line against in 35 IP before Sunday night’s outing against LA.
The run in the second was the only one Strasburg allowed through five, as he struck out seven on 79 pitches and kept it a one-run game, and then worked around a two-out walk in a scoreless 15-pitch sixth that left him at 94 pitches total.
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 Ks, 94 P, 59 S, 3/3 GO/FO.
“Stras was awesome,” Dusty Baker told reporters after what ended up a 7-1 win.
“Michael almost made a sensational catch on that ball, or else [Strasburg] wouldn’t have given up anything, and he was trying to go away with that pitch, that’s why we didn’t walk [Forsythe] early in the game like that, because Stras had had success against him and he was throwing the ball so well, but just got a ball over the heart of the plate, and like I said, Michael almost made a sensational catch and other than that he was good, he was very good.”
Strasburg, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, said he was surprised Taylor got as close as he did to the ball, which was fairly well struck.
"To actually get there and have a chance at it is pretty incredible,” he said.
Ryan Zimmerman’s three-run blast in the sixth gave the Nationals a 3-1 lead before the end of Strasburg’s outing was official, so he was in line for a win, and the Nats’ bullpen locked down the right-hander’s 14th win of the 2017 campaign with Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson, and Sean Doolittle holding the Dodgers off the board in what ended up a 7-1 win.
“Stras got them out of the sixth inning, but he pitched well,” Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts told reporters after Los Angeles took two of three in D.C. but dropped the finale.
“He competed. Really couldn’t create much stress towards him or on him. Got to their ‘pen and they were good tonight.”
Baker was asked if the run Strasburg has been on since returning from the DL has him confident in the right-hander going into the postseason.
“We didn’t have him last October, so we’re very confident,” Baker said, “... and you’re going out there with him and [Max] Scherzer, and Gio [Gonzalez] and Tanner [Roark], that’s where it starts, it starts with your starting pitching, so if you add a couple runs in there, a couple quick innings, and most games you’re going to win those games. He was confident, had a good changeup, and he had a well-located fastball.”