Heading into tonight’s outing, Stephen Strasburg had a streak of 20-straight scoreless innings going, which included the nine that he threw against the Miami Marlins in last week’s complete game shutout in Nationals Park.
Strasburg gave up six hits in that start, a 4-0 Nats’ win, improving to (2-0) with a 1.13 ERA in two starts and 16 innings pitched against Miami in 2017, (5-0), with a 1.46 ERA in last five starts against the Fish overall, and (14-7) in 27 career outings opposite the Nationals’ NL East rivals.
Over his last five starts overall before tonight’s, Strasburg was (4-1) with a 0.90 ERA, seven walks (2.10 BB/9), and 36 Ks (10.80) in 30 IP, over which he’d held hitters to a combined .175/.234/.272 line.
Though he once again dealt with the right calf cramps which have plagued him during his last few turns in the rotation, Strasburg managed to complete six scoreless innings in Marlins Park on a total of 90 pitches, striking out eight, walking no one, and working around six hits.
By the end of the night, the right-hander was up to 26-straight scoreless innings over his last four starts, and 18-straight scoreless against the Marlins.
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 Ks, 90 P, 60 S, 6/1 GO/FO.
Marlins’ skipper Don Mattingly was asked, after what ended up a 2-1 loss, if it was more of the same against Strasburg.
“I thought he was similar,” Mattingly said. “His stuff is always good. I thought we did a better job with him for sure, just as far as fighting with him, making him battle for his outs. The last game I think he had 73 [pitches] through seven, and tonight we [were] making him work and we’re fouling balls off and we’re taking the ball down some more, so obviously we didn’t get to him, but we still had better at bats tonight than we did the other day. Obviously it’s not enough to just say that, you’ve got to have production at some point and we really weren’t able to do that.”
Dusty Baker said Strasburg was impressive, but it was frustrating to have the cramping in the right-hander’s right calf come up again.
“He threw the ball great and it just came up again, and I don’t know what to make of it because our trainers are working on it, he’s taking anti-cramping medicine and all that kind of stuff, so I don’t know what to make of it. I’m not a doctor, so just have to make the moves when we have to make the moves,” Baker explained.
During this recent stretch of success, the ‘09 No. 1 overall pick has put together some of the best starts of his career.
Baker said he’s been impressed, but has to find out how to keep the right-hander on the mound.
“He has great command right now,” Baker said. “He has great command of his fastball, and they’re really not picking up his changeup or his slider. This is a tough team over here to shut out, and we almost shut them out had it not been for the little blooper by Ozuna and then the passed ball, but man, he’s throwing the ball great, so we certainly go to keep him healthy down the stretch here.”