There has been a ton of chatter about Stephen Strasburg lately. Chatter about whether he is the best pitcher in major league baseball. Buster Onley from ESPN indicated this morning on ESPN Radio that Strasburg is the best in the game. All just one season removed from Tommy John surgery.
Strasburg's mound performance last night did nothing to quell that chatter. Strasburg led the Nats on the mound and p-0layed a big role in ending Washington two game skid and avoiding a Pittsburgh Pirate sweep in a 4-2 decision last night. Strasburg tossed 6 innings and allowed 5 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs, only 1 of which was earned, but fanned a stunning 13 batters. Folks,m that is an average of over 2 strikeouts per inning. Amazing stuff. Strasburg tossed 103 total pitches of which 62 were for strikes. Strasburg improved to 4-0 on the season and lowered his overall ERA to 1.64.
Strasburg got assistance from the bullpen as Ryan Mattheus, Tyler Clippard, and Henry Rodriguez combined for three scoreless innings of relief. The three combined did not allow a hit or a walk, but recorded 3 strikeouts. Rodriguez earned his 7th save of the season.
Offensively, Roger Bernadina homered in the 6th inning on a 3-1 count to pull the Nationals to a 2-1 deficit. Adam LaRoche followed up the Bernadina solo shot with a 2 run home run that scored Ryan Zimmerman. That gave the Nats a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish. LaRoche finished the night 2 for 3 and raised his batting average to .327. The Nationals go a ninth inning bomb from Rick Ankiel, his second of the season.
The Nats will begin a series with the Cincinnati Reds tonight at 7:10PM. Gio Gonzalez will take the mound for the Nats.