Stephen Strasburg dominated the Miami Marlins, tossing eight scoreless on 104 pitches and striking out 11 of the 27 batters he faced, and Ryan Zimmerman (2) and Brian Dozier both hit home runs as the Washington Nationals avoided a sweep with a 5-0 win in the series finale in Marlins Park.
Strasburg vs the Fish: Stephen Strasburg started play today with a 5.56 ERA, seven walks, and 28 Ks in four starts and 22 2⁄3 innings pitched this season, over which he’d held hitters to a combined .244/.299/.489 line.
Twelve of 22 hits and 10 of the runs Strasburg allowed on the season before this afternoon’s start, came in just 10 innings on the mound in the right-hander’s previous two outings, over which he’d also surrendered five home runs.
Throwing into the shadows that crept across the grass in front of home plate, Strasburg got through five scoreless on 68 pitches, striking out nine of the first 18 batters he faced as the Nationals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in Marlins Park.
It was 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Strasburg returned to the mound, picked up another K, his 10th, and completed another scoreless frame.
Strasburg worked around a one-out walk in the seventh, with a 6-3-4 DP in the next AB that ended a quick, nine-pitch frame which left him at 90 pitches total, and he picked up his 11th K from 27 batters faced in a 14-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth.
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 Ks, 104 P, 67 S, 9/2 GO/FO.
Stephen Strasburg, Unhittable 88mph Changeup. pic.twitter.com/xv5fC62Fw3— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 21, 2019
Richards vs the Nats: Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2016, Trevor Richards debuted in the majors with Miami last season and the 25-year-old Marlins’ starter was winless in his first four starts before today, with a 3.57 ERA, 14 walks, 21 strikeouts, and .175/.313/.313 line against in 22 2⁄3 IP in 2019.
He was coming off a rough 4 2⁄3-inning outing against Chicago’s Cubs in which he gave up four hits, four walks, and five earned runs.
Richards tossed 3 2⁄3 scoreless to start, but an eight-pitch at bat against Ryan Zimmerman in the fourth ended with a high fly to left that cleared the fence for a solo homer and a 1-0 Nationals’ lead.
Adam Eaton (on a line drive to center) and Victor Robles (on a bunt he popped up over the infield) reached on back-to-back singles in the top of the sixth, and after a wild pitch that moved both runners up, a sac fly to center by Howie Kendrick brought Eaton in from third to make it a 2-0 Nationals’ lead.
Brian Dozier hit a 1-1 change out to left with one down in the top of the seventh, making it a 3-0 lead with his 3rd of 2019. A one-out walk to the opposing pitcher ended Richards’ day...
Trevor Richards’ Line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 2 HRs, 100 P, 66 S, 4/2 GO/FO.
Rendon is NOT Streaking or Playing: Anthony Rendon’s streak ended last night, when a HBP on his left elbow knocked him out of the game.
He didn’t play today, though Davey Martinez said in his pregame comments that he still thinks the third baseman will be able to avoid an IL stint.
Over the course of the hit streak, which stretched to 17 games before it ended, Rendon was 26 for 65 (.400/.474/.831) with 10 doubles, six home runs, 18 RBIs, and nine walks.
Victor Robles is Streaking!: And he was penciled in batting second today with Rendon out of the lineup.
Robles, 21, started the finale in Miami with a six-game hit streak, over which he was 7 for 21 with two doubles, and on the year he had a .288/.338/.545 line, six doubles and three home runs heading into the third of three with the Fish. He was 0 for 2 on the day before a bunt attempt that he happened to pop up over the infield (on purpose?) fell in for a single which put two on with no one out and extended his hit streak to seven straight games.
BULLPEN ACTION: Jarlin García took over for Trevor Richards and got a double play ground ball out of Wilmer Difo for the final two outs of the top of the seventh. García came back out with a 1-2-3 top of the eighth as well.
Ryan Zimmerman hit his second home run of the game and third of the season in the top of the ninth, taking Tyler Kinley deep to left on a 2-2 slider that cleared the left field fence, 4-0.
Kurt Suzuki doubled, moved up on a walk by Dozier, and scored on an RBI single by Wilmer Difo, with Wei-Yin Chen on the mound for Miami at that point, 5-0.
Kyle Barraclough got the ball in the bottom of the ninth and gave up back-to-back, two-out walks, so Davey Martinez went to the pen for Sean Doolittle, who gave up a hard-hit, base-loading grounder to third by Starlin Castro that ate up Howie Kendrick. Miguel Rojas came up with a chance to make it a one-run game, and sent a fly to right to end it. Ballgame. 5-0 final.
Nationals now 10-10