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Stephen Strasburg can’t quite match Max Scherzer’s dominance; Nationals drop 6-5 decision to Rockies...

Stephen Strasburg retired the first eleven batters he faced on Sunday afternoon, but the Nationals ended up dropping the finale of the four-game series with the Rockies...

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MLB: Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg followed up on Max Scherzer’s complete game shutout of Atlanta’s Braves with eight scoreless innings of his own against the Washington Nationals’ NL East rivals last week.

Is there a friendly competition between the starters, trying to outdo one another when each gets their turn in the rotation? Does Strasburg go out there looking to one-up Scherzer?

“I don’t know if he wants to one-up him,” Davey Martinez told reporters after the Nationals’ 4-1 win over the Braves, “... but I know [Strasburg is] very competitive just like Max, and he wants to do well and help us win, that’s what he’s all about.”

So, after Scherzer stopped the Nationals’ three-game losing streak with a solid seven-inning start on Saturday, retiring the final 20 batters he faced after giving up a two-run blast in the first, what would Strasburg do in the finale of the four-game set with the Colorado Rockies?

Strasburg retired the first eleven batters he faced before Charlie Blackmon, who hit the two-run homer of Scherzer, got Stras as well, launching a full-count fastball to right that tied it up at 1-1.

It was 3-1 Nationals in the sixth, after a bases-loaded passed ball/E:2 allowed two to score, but Strasburg gave up a one-out single and walk, and a two-out, two-run double and RBI single by Blackmon and Chris Iannetta, respectively, that made it a 4-3 game in the visiting team’s favor before Matt Wieters hit a solo shot in the bottom of the inning to tie things up, getting Strasburg off the hook.

Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 88 P, 52 S 6/4 GO/FO.

The Nationals dropped the series finale, however, trading runs in the eighth only to have former Nats’ infielder Ian Desmond hit a solo homer to center on a 3-2 fastball from Sean Doolittle in the top of the ninth inning, putting the Rockies up for good, 6-5.

The loss was the seventh in ten games on the Nationals’ homestand, which is... frustrating.

“I think something’s missing right now,” Strasburg told reporters, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.

“In times like that, I think you can sit there and let it keep going or grind. And I think that’s what we’re trying to do, and that’s all we really can do. We’re too good of a team to not be winning games. It’s going to change. I think it’s just a matter of sticking together, and playing good baseball and playing at the level that we know we’re capable of playing.”

“I think for us pitchers, we can’t win the game,” Doolittle said. “We can try to give them as many chances as we can to find ways to push runs across and they were doing that today and we couldn’t hold the lead late, and that’s really frustrating. It kind of felt like we had some momentum there in the later innings, especially there in the ninth inning, we found a way to push a run across there and that kind of takes the air out of your deal there.”