Stephen Strasburg wasn’t around too long, after throwing 100 pitches in four innings, but neither was Miami Marlins’ righty Sandy Alcantara, who surrendered seven hits, five walks, and six earned runs in four innings of what ended up a 7-3 loss to Washington in Nationals Park.
Strasburg vs the Fish: Stephen Strasburg earned his ninth win of the season and improved to (3-0) in six starts since he came off his second Disabled List stint when he faced Miami last week in Marlins Park. Strasburg struck out 11 of the 26 batters he faced in six innings of work, over which he gave up five hits, two walks, and two earned runs, throwing 101 pitches overall before he was done for the night.
He gave up a run early in his second consecutive start against the Nationals’ divisional rivals in the nation’s capital tonight, with JT Riddle singling to start the game and scoring from first on an RBI double to left field by Miguel Rojas, 1-0.
After the Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first, Strasburg gave up a single and a walk to the first two batters in the second, and issued a two-out base-loading walk before getting J.T. Realmuto looking with an 0-2 slider to end a 25-pitch frame that left him at 63 pitches overall after two.
A relatively quick, 11-pitch third pushed Strasburg up to 74 pitches, but he walked two in a long, ultimately scoreless, 26-pitch fourth that left him at 100 pitches total and ended his night.
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 Ks, 100 P, 59 S, 3/1 GO/FO.
Alcantara Round 2: In his first career start against the Nationals last week, Marlins’ right-hander Sandy Alcantara gave up six hits, six walks, and three earned runs in four innings, over which he threw a total of 91 pitches.
That outing left the 23-year-old starter with a 2.35 ERA, 16 walks, 17 Ks, and a .184/.337/.276 line against in 23 IP in the majors this season.
Going up against Washington for the second time in a week in tonight’s series opener in D.C., Alcantara took the mound with a 1-0 lead, and gave up a walk to Adam Eaton and back-to-back doubles by Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, with Rendon’s 42nd double this season driving in two runs to put the Nationals ahead, 2-1.
Alcantara held the Nationals there through three, but they got to him in the fourth with Bryce Harper connecting for a sac fly with Adam Eaton on third base, 3-1, and Anthony Rendon, two-run home run, and Juan Soto, solo shot, adding to the lead, 6-1.
Tony and Tony tonight. pic.twitter.com/laORUtMH4Q— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 25, 2018
Sandy Alcantara’s Line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 3 Ks, 2 HRs, 84 P, 51 S, 5/3 GO/FO.
Juan Soto has passed Mickey Mantle for the 4th-most RBIs in a season as a teenager. pic.twitter.com/F6gdIE5MGM— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 25, 2018
Rend-on base Streak Update: Anthony Rendon started the night with a 31-game on-base streak going, over which the 28-year-old outfielder was 43 for 123 (.350/.438/.593) with 12 doubles, six home runs, 18 walks, and 15 Ks in 144 plate appearances, and he extended it to a 32-game on-base streak the first time up, doubling to left-center field to drive in two runs after the Nationals had fallen behind in the top of the first inning.
Turn, Turn, Turn: Speaking of on-base streaks, Trea Turner started the night with a 23-game on-base streak going, over which he’d put up a .302/.407/.469 line, seven doubles, three home runs, 16 walks, and 20 Ks. A one-out double in the fourth extended it to 24 games in a row that he’d reached base.
100 totally meaningless RBIs: Bryce Harper got to 99 RBIs in 2015, but before tonight he’d never reached 100, but his sac fly got him there. Congrats, Bryce. But still RBIs are so totes meaningless:
Hugs for and homers! pic.twitter.com/aTn3VpRTDS— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) September 25, 2018
BULLPEN ACTION: Justin Miller took over on the mound for the Nats in the top of the fifth and gave up a run before recording an out when J.T. Realmuto reached on an error by Mark Reynolds and Peter O’Brien and Brian Anderson connected for back-to-back singles, 6-2. A one-out walk to Austin Dean loaded the bases, but the Marlins left them loaded at the end of a 24-pitch frame.
Matt Wieters homered off Javy Guerra to lead off the Nationals’ half of the fifth, 7-2. No. 8 for Wieters.
Matt Grace retired the Marlins in order in a 10-pitch top of the sixth, and Guerra returned to retire the Nationals in order in the bottom of the inning.
Grace gave up a leadoff double and a run in the seventh with Peter O’Brien hitting a liner to left for a two-base hit, taking third on one groundout and scoring on another, 7-3.
Greg Holland retired the Marlins in order in the top of the eighth.
Sean Doolittle came on in the ninth with a four-run lead and retired the Fish in order to end it.
Final Score: 7-3 Nationals
Nationals now 79-78