In six starts back from his second stint on the Disabled List this season, Stephen Strasburg, who allowed five hits, two walks, and two earned runs in six innings in Miami’s Marlins Park last night, over which he struck out 11, is now (3-0) with a 3.63 ERA, 11 walks, 43 strikeouts, and a .250/.320/.402 line against in 28 2⁄3 IP.
Heading into last night’s start against the Marlins, Strasburg was coming off a seven-inning outing against the Philadelphia Phillies which saw him give up five hits and one earned run, striking out nine of 27 batters he faced in a 5-1 win in Citizens Bank Park.
“He’s been really good,” Davey Martinez told reporters after that win. “He’s pitching now and he’s mixing all his pitches in and attacking the strike zone. He fell behind a couple times and then he got right back to throwing strikes. He did really, really well.”
Stephen Strasburg, Ridiculous 86mph Changeup. pic.twitter.com/0N4PyLnFAz— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 18, 2018
Strasburg fell behind Marlins’ first baseman Peter O’Brien in the first at bat of the second in Miami, and gave up a solo home run to left on a center-cut, 93 mph fastball. O’Brien’s blast made it a 2-1 game half-inning after a two-run top of the second for the Nationals.
After striking out three straight following the home run and a hit-by-pitch in the Marlins’ half of the second, Strasburg struck out the side in the third for six straight strikeouts and seven Ks overall on the night.
Three straight two-out singles in the fifth brought in the Marlins’ second run of the game, 3-2 Nationals, and a walk loaded them up before Strasburg picked up his 10th K, striking Brian Anderson out with his 28th pitch of the inning and 90th of the game, a 94 mph, 3-2 fastball.
10 Wicked Stephen Strasburg Changeups (all from last night). pic.twitter.com/8Nvn6htKMf— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 19, 2018
Strasburg came back for the sixth, and picked up his 11th K in an 11-pitch, 1-2-3 frame that ended his outing.
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 Ks, 1 HR, 101 P, 63 S, 3/3 GO/FO.
After what ended up a 4-2 win, the Nationals’ skipper said Strasburg making in through the six was a big help for a team with a beleaguered relief corps.
“That’s huge right now,” Martinez said, adding that the fifth-inning ending strikeout from Brian Anderson was a big moment that allowed him to come back out for another inning.
“He was huge,” Martinez added. “Like I said, he came through. We needed him to go out there and at least give us six innings, our bullpen has been pitching a lot, and he got a big out right there. Big moment and got a big out. I told him, ‘Hey that was fantastic.’ Had 100 pitches and he was good.”
Strasburg talked after the outing about matching his season-high in strikeouts.
“I’m just trying to execute pitches,” he said, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr. “When I get to two strikes, you want to try to put them away. I feel like the two-seamer was working pretty well tonight. The change-up was working well. Four-seam command was a little off, but was able to make a pitch or two in a big situation.”