San Diego, CA-born righty Stephen Strasburg started the series opener in Petco Park with a 2.84 ERA, five walks, 19 Ks, and a .176/.240/.309 line against in three starts and 19 innings of work on the mound in the Padres’ home.
The third of his three career starts in southern California came in last August’s trip out to the West Coast, when Strasburg returned from a DL stint to give up four hits, one a home run, a walk, and two runs, both earned, over six innings in what ended up a 3-1 loss to the Padres.
It was his last loss of the 2017 season, as he went (5-0) in his final seven outings, over which he put up a 0.57 ERA, nine walks, 55 Ks, and a .169/.220/.205 line against in 47 2⁄3 IP, and the home run he gave up against the Padres was the last one he surrendered in 2017.
In seven starts this season before Monday night’s, Strasburg had a 3.47 ERA, 11 walks, 54 Ks, and a .169/.220/.205 line against in 46 2⁄3 IP, over which he’d given up eight home runs.
Strasburg held the Padres to two hits (both by Travis Jankowski) in his first four innings on the mound in Petco, but Jankowski stole second after his second hit, took third base on a groundout, and scored from third on another ground ball out to tie things up at 1-1 after a home run by Trea Turner in the first gave the Nationals an early lead.
With the score 5-1 Nationals in the sixth, Strasburg gave up a line drive to right field that Bryce Harper had trouble with, turning it into a triple by Manuel Margot.
Margot scored on a sac fly to center, 5-2, and Strasburg gave up another run on an RBI by single by Jose Pirela in a 21-pitch seventh that ended his outing after 109 pitches overall.
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 109 P, 72 S, 10/2 GO/FO.
“Nice to see Strasburg do what he did,” Davey Martinez said after the 8-5 win over the Padres. “He ran out of gas a little bit at the end there, but he pitched really well.”
“I like he was just attacking the strike zone, he really was. He used his fastball quite a bit and that was nice to see. Threw it for strikes. Battled back [against] some hitters, worked his way back in counts and got big outs.”
“He’s good,” Padres’ skipper Andy Green told reporters when asked about facing Strasburg after the loss. “The curveball was particularly good today. I thought we did a very nice job laying off of his changeup. In general we put some good swings on the fastball. We missed some fastballs too, but there were were some better swings against a top-of-the-rotation starter for us today than we have in the past. We’ll take those positives. We’ll take those positives.”
How did Strasburg feel about starting again in his hometown?
“I’ve been out in D.C. for a while,” Strasburg said, as quoted by MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. “So D.C. is home now. But it’s a good day to come back and see a lot of family.”