clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Stephen Strasburg makes 2018 debut in Nationals’ 13-7 win over the Reds...

Washington Nationals’ righty Stephen Strasburg went into the seventh in his first start of the 2018 campaign on Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg wrapped up his 2018 Grapefruit League work with a 5 23-inning outing in which he struck out 10 of the 23 batters he faced on 96 pitches. He finished his Spring with 17 hits, eight runs, and eight walks allowed in 15 23 IP, over which he collected 19 Ks, with opposing hitters putting up a .279 line against him.

Coming off a dominant 2017 campaign, which saw him go (15-4) over 28 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 204 Ks (10.47 K/9), 47 walks (2.41 BB/9), and a pretty stingy .203/.265/.317 line against in 175 1⁄3 innings pitched, Strasburg said he was ready to get going in 2018 when he spoke to reporters following the final Spring start.

“My arm’s felt really good all spring, and I think it’s just a matter of reps and just continuing the process,” Strasburg said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

“Everything seems to tighten up every time I go out there. That’s all I can ask for.”

“He was good, really good,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez added after that outing. “He was impressive. Good outing for him. He’s ready to go.”

Strasburg was dominant at the start on Saturday afternoon in his 2018 regular season debut in Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, working around back-to-back, one-out singles in the first, and retiring ten-straight after that before giving up a solo home run on a first-pitch change to Reds’ outfielder Scott Schebler in the fourth.

Washington’s ‘09 No. 1 overall pick was up to 51 pitches after four innings, with a 5-1 lead, three hits allowed, six ground ball outs (no fly ball outs), and four Ks from 15 batters faced.

Strasburg retired the Reds in order in a five-pitch fifth inning, after which he’d set 14 of 15 down following the back-to-back singles in the first, but he ran into trouble when Jesse Winker singled to start the sixth, and Trea Turner booted a potential double play grounder to short off of Eugenio Suarez’s bat, throwing late to first, to put two on in front of Joey Votto, who walked to load the bases with no one out.

Scooter Gennett fell behind 0-2, but hit a fastball through the left side for an RBI single, 6-2, before Strasburg popped Schebler in foul territory off third for out No. 1 of the sixth.

Adam Duvall hit a sac fly to center for the Reds’ third run, 6-3, but Strasburg held them to two runs there, finishing a 25-pitch sixth at 81 pitches overall.

Three straight singles started the Reds’ seventh, however, pushing Strasburg up to 95 pitches.

Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez stuck with his starter for another batter, and the right-hander threw a 1-2 changeup inside by Eugenio Suarez to get the first out of the inning.

Sammy Solis took over for Strasburg with Joey Votto due up, got up 0-2, and got a called strike three with a high fastball for out No. 2. Scooter Gennett stepped in next and sent a one-hopper back to the mound for out No. 3.

Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 99 P, 68 S, 7/2 GO/FO.