Stephen Strasburg gave up more home runs (4) in five innings this afternoon than he gave up in his previous 10 starts and 68 1⁄3 IP, and the nine hits total he allowed were more than he’d given up in 65 outings going back to August of 2016. Strasburg gave up six runs total before he was done for the day, and the Nationals never recovered in what ended up a 10-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in Washington, D.C.
Strasburg vs the D-backs: With seven strong on the mound last time out before today, Nats’ starter Stephen Strasburg extended an unbeaten streak to five-straight starts, in which the ‘09 No. 1 overall pick was (4-0) with a 2.93 ERA, seven walks, 35 Ks, and a .208/.263/.275 line against in 34 IP, with five of the 11 ER he allowed over that stretch coming in a less-than-stellar outing against the White Sox in Nationals Park.
Strasburg bounced back from that outing with seven strong against the San Diego Padres in Petco Park, over which he gave up a run on six hits, struck out six and induced 11 ground ball outs.
Going up against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the nation’s capital tonight, the 30-year-old right-hander ... gave up a home run on the first pitch he threw, with Ketel Marte hitting one out to right on a 92 MPH fastball low in the zone that ended up in the right field bullpen, 1-0.
Strasburg’s 12th pitch of the game left the yard too, with Adam Jones connecting for the second home run of the first, 2-0.
It was 3-2 Nationals when Strasburg took the mound in the second and gave up a leadoff homer by Christian Walker, who hit a 1-1 curve out to left-center to tie it up, 3-3, and Nick Ahmed tripled in the at bat that followed, and scored on an RBI single by Carson Kelly to make it 4-3 in the D-backs’ favor.
The three home runs Strasburg surrendered, matched the total he allowed in his previous 10 starts and 68 1⁄3 IP.
Back-to-back-to-back, two-out hits in the third inning brought another run around, 5-3, and Strasburg was up to 63 pitches after three.
Marte got Strasburg again in the fourth, hitting a 3-1 fastball out to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard for the fourth homer of the game off the Nationals’ starter.
A scoreless, 17-pitch fifth left Strasburg at 95 pitches overall, and he was done for the day at that point.
Strasburg gave up nine hits total today, the most he’s allowed in a start since August 17, 2016 in Colorado’s Coors Field, which the Nationals’ PR team noted, was a span of 65 consecutive starts with eight hits or fewer given up, which was the third-longest active streak in the majors, behind only Rich Hill (74) and Julio Teheran (66).
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 5.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks, 4 HRs, 95 P, 63 S, 8/2 GO/FO.
Clarke vs the Nationals: Taylor Clarke, 26, and a 15th Round pick by the Diamondbacks in 2015, made his MLB debut back on April 20th, and in five starts before today (after he came on in relief in his first game), the right-hander had a 5.96 ERA, nine walks, 17 Ks, and a rough .292/.366/.562 line against in 22 2⁄3 IP.
Facing the Nationals for the first time in his career this afternoon, Clarke was coming off a 3 1⁄3-inning outing on the road in Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park in which he gave up six hits and four runs in a 13-8 loss.
Clarke took the mound with a 2-0 lead, but it didn’t last long. Trea Turner tripled and scored on a sac fly by Adam Eaton, 2-1, and one out later Juan Soto hit an 0-1 fastball out to left for a game-tying opposite field blast, 2-2. Soto’s 11th.
Matt Adams followed with an absolute bomb in the next at bat, and the Nationals were up 3-2 on the rookie righty after a 27-pitch first.
Clarke tossed a 3 2⁄3 scoreless after giving up the early runs, but was lifted after giving up a two-out single by Anthony Rendon in the bottom of the fifth inning...
Taylor Clarke’s Line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 Ks, 2 HRs, 97 P, 63 S, 0/4 GO/FO.
Turner is Streaking: Trea Turner went 1 for 3 with a walk in last night’s game against the D-backs, extending his on-base streak to 11-straight games, over which the shortstop was 14 for 45 (.311/.380/.711) with seven doubles, a triple, three home runs, and five walks.
Turner didn’t waste any time extending his streak this afternoon, with a leadoff triple in the first at bat of the bottom of the first inning giving him a 12-game on-base streak.
BULLPEN ACTION: D-backs’ lefty Andrew Chafin took over on the mound with two out and Anthony Rendon at first in the bottom of the fifth, and got the final out of the frame.
Javy Guerra stranded two batters in a scoreless, 20-pitch top of the sixth.
Yoshihisa Hirano worked around a one-out double by Brian Dozier for a scoreless bottom of the sixth.
Guerra tossed a scoreless seventh as well to keep it a three-run game.
Hirano gave up a one-out single by Trea Turner in the seventh, but was lifted with two down in favor of Yoan López, who got the final out of the frame.
Kyle Barraclough gave up a leadoff single by Nick Ahmed and a one-out, two-run home by Kevin Cron that put the D-backs up, 8-3.
Barraclough gave up a walk and a single in the next two at bats and was lifted at that point.
Tony Sipp took over and gave up an RBI double by David Peralta, 9-3.
Yoan López came back out in the bottom of the eighth and retired the Nationals in order.
Trevor Rosenthal got another low-leverage opportunity in the top of the ninth and gave up back-to-back walks and a base-loading single, setting Carson Kelly up for a sac fly that put the D-backs up 10-3.
D-backs’ lefty T.J. McFarland got the bottom of the ninth and worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless frame.
Nationals now 32-38