Stephen Strasburg dominated the Miami Marlins for six innings, striking out 11 of 21 batters, before he received some run support in the form of a two-run home run by Brian Dozier, 2-0, and the Washington Nationals’ starter returned to the mound with a 1-2-3 seventh inning in which he picked up two more strikeouts (13 from 24), then finished up his outing with a K with two on and no one out in the eighth... (14 Ks from 27 batters faced).
[ed. note - “Strasburg also threw an “Immaculate Inning” along the way, striking out the side in a quick, nine-pitch, nine-strike fourth, becoming just the fourth pitcher in franchise history (2005-present) to accomplish that efficient feat.”]
Fernando Rodney gave up a base-loading single, but got an inning-ending, rally-killing, 6-4-3 DP to end the threat in the Marlins’ half of the eighth, and Sean Doolittle gave up a run in an otherwise, totally drama-free ninth to end it, after Matt Adams added to the lead with his 13th HR of 2019. 3-1 final.
Strasburg vs the Fish: Stephen Strasburg tossed eight scoreless when he faced the Marlins in Miami back on April 21st, giving up two hits and two walks while striking out 11 of 27 in a 5-0 win.
When he faced the Fish again last week, however, he gave up seven hits and four runs over seven innings on the mound in South Florida, though the Nationals rallied from a 4-1 deficit in what ended up an 8-5 win which left him (4-1) in five June outings, with a 5.70 ERA, seven walks, 27 Ks, and a .267/.318/.492 line against in 30 IP on the month.
Going up against the Nationals’ NL East rivals for the second time in a week tonight, the 30-year-old right-hander was filthy early, striking out eight of the first 14 batters he faced, five swinging, and three looking, on 56 pitches, nine of them in the fourth, when he threw the fourth immaculate inning in franchise history (2005-present), striking out the side on those nine pitches, all nine of them strikes.
Stephen Strasburg has thrown the 4th IMMACULATE INNING in #Nats history.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 3, 2019
9 pitches // 9 strikes // 3 strikeouts pic.twitter.com/3d7XsLNv1C
Strasburg picked up two Ks and worked around a two-out single in a 14-pitch fifth that left him at 70 pitches total with 10 Ks from 18 batters faced, and added his 11th K in a quick, 12-pitch, 1-2-3 sixth.
Given a 2-0 lead to work with courtesy of a Brian Dozier homer in the bottom of the sixth, Strasburg came back out in the top of the seventh and picked up two Ks for 13 total in a quick, 16-pitch, 1-2-3 frame that left him at 98 pitches overall on the night.
Strasburg returned to the mound in the eighth and put the first two batters on with a walk and a hit-by-pitch, then struck pinch hitter Brian Anderson out with a 1-2 curve (which was the third breaking ball of the at bat) to end his outing with his 14th K (from 27 batters)...
Stephen Strasburg’s Line: 7.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 Ks, 110 P, 80 S, 8/0 GO/FO.
This is the 44th 10+ K game of Stephen Strasburg's career.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 3, 2019
(It's the 5th inning.)#Strasmas // #OnePursuit pic.twitter.com/1jhNfMwbZm
Alcantara vs the Nationals: Marlins’ starter Sandy Alcantara held the Nationals’ to a run on two hits in five innings last week in Miami, but the 23-year-old righty surrendered five hits and five runs in the sixth inning of that outing. What changed the third time around?
“We stayed on the ball, got the ball up, and we were able to make good contact,” Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez told reporters after an 8-5 win.
“When we go good, our hitting, we stay in the zone,” he added, “... and that’s the key for us, stay in the zone, stop chasing, and we did that that inning.”
Martinez’s squad managed just one hit through three against Alcantara tonight, but two walks (by Anthony Rendon and Matt Adams) and the second hit of the night (an infield hit/error on shortstop Miguel Rojas by Brian Dozier) loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth, before Victor Robles got punched out on an 0-2 curve that wasn’t even close, and Yan Gomes K’d swinging at an 0-2 fastball to end the threat. Still 0-0.
Juan Soto singled with one out in the sixth inning, stole second base, then scored the easy way when Brian Dozier hit a hanging-a$$ 0-2 slider from Alcantara out to left for a two-out, two-run homer, 2-0. Dozier’s 13th of 2019. A walk to Victor Robles in the next at bat ended Alcantara’s outing...
The Washington Nationals have a HR in 17 straight games.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 4, 2019
That's a new franchise record. pic.twitter.com/oumxZekqKG
Sandy Alcantara’s Line: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 Ks, 1 HR, 108 P, 71 S, 7/2 GO/FO.
SotOBP: Juan Soto homered in the first inning last night, extending his on-base streak to 16-straight games, over which the 20-year-old outfielder was 19 for 52 (.365/.493/.808), with a total of two doubles, three triples, five homers, 15 RBIs, 13 walks, 13 strikeouts, and 13 runs scored during the streak.
Soto walked in his first at bat of the game tonight, extending his streak to 17-straight games.
Not everybody is gonna wanna be your friend, and that's ok pic.twitter.com/fMHQm1N8Xt— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) July 3, 2019
BULLPEN ACTION: Jarlin García took over for Miami with Victor Robles at first and two out in the bottom of the sixth and picked Robles off first to end the inning.
García came back out for the bottom of the seventh as well and worked around a two-out single by Trea Turner for a scoreless frame.
Fernando Rodney inherited a two-on, one-out situation from Stephen Strasburg in the top of the eighth, and gave up a base-loading single to left by Miguel Rojas (2 for 4).
Harold Ramirez stepped in next and sent a swinging bunt out to short as he fell down on the swing, starting an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP.
Matt Adams took Wei-Yin Chen deep to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard on a line to pad the Nationals’ lead, 3-0. 13th of 2019 for Adams.
Sean Doolittle came on with a three-run lead in the ninth and gave up back-to-back-to-back, one-out singles by Neil Walker, Starlin Castro, and Jorge Alfaro which loaded’em up in front of JT Riddle, who got up 3-1 but swung through back-to-back fastballs for out No. 2. César Puello stepped in next and fell behind 1-2 ... before he got hit on the elbow. 3-1 game. Bases still loaded. Pinch hitter Yadiel Rivera fell behind 0-2, got to 1-2, and went down swinging to end it.
Ballgame. 3-1 final.
Nationals now 44-41