October 16, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 109 Review: Strasburg dominant in return from D.L.

STRASBURG STRIKES OUT 12 IN FIRST START OFF DISABLED LIST

Stephen Strasburg was masterful in his first start back from being activated from the disabled list and the Washington Nationals beat the Colorado Rockies 6-1 on Saturday.

Strasburg made a triumphant return from the D.L. after missing a month with assortment of ailments, all stemming from the sprained ankle he sustained during spring training. His performance reminded all that when he’s healthy, he’s still capable of being special.

The big righty was in command all night,  allowing just one run on three hits, — walking none — and striking out 12 in seven innings. He retired last 11 batters in a row and threw 91 pitches before being relieved by Blake Treinen in the eight after the Nats rallied for two runs in the seventh. In addition to the excellent work on the hill, he went 3 for 3 at the plate as well.

Clint Robinson reached on an infield single with one out in the second inning and went to second after Ian Desmond walked. Both runners scored on Wilson Ramos’ double to right. Michael Taylor struck out, but Strasburg reached on a 50-foot dribbler up the third base line. Looking to bust open the inning, Anthony Rendon did the opposite, forcing Strasburg on a grounder to short.

Danny Espinosa led the third off with a walk following a nine-pitch at bat. Bryce Harper (2 for 3, BB) singled, but Ryan Zimmerman grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. The Nats persisted, as Clint Robinson drew a base on balls and Desmond singled to center to plate Espinosa and make it 3-0.

Strasburg’s only mistake of the night came in the fourth, as All-Star Nolan Arenado touched him for no-doubt homer to left center, Arenado’s 27th of the season.

The Nats added to the lead in the fifth. Bryce Harper drew a two-out walk and scored on Ryan Zimmerman’s double of the base of the left field wall when left fielder Brandon Barnes’ cutoff throw missed everyone and scooted harmlessly through the infield.

Reliever Christian Freidrich saw his ERA go up in this one too. In the seventh, Danny Espinosa drew a leadoff walk and went to third on Harper’s booming single off the right field wall. Zimmerman delivered with a single to center to plate Espinosa, and Harper scored on Clint Robinson’s double-play grounder.

HERO: Strasburg. His performance was a welcome sight for Nats fans as the team now chases the Mets in the division.

GOAT: Colorado starter Eddie Butler. The Radford product had roughly 30 friends and family in for the game, and by happy accident it was Radford alumni night at the stadium. He awarded everyone with four walks and eight hits in six innings and took the loss.

NATS NOTES:

  • Harper made a tremendous sliding catch in foul territory near the ballgirl’s seat down the right field line to retire Arenado in the seventh.
  • Harper, Zimmerman and Desmond all had two hits apiece.
  • Treinen struck out one and Matt Thornton two in perfect innings of relief. Doug Fister warmed up after the eighth inning, but it could hav ebeen just a chance to get some work in, as this was his regular day to start.

NEXT GAME: Final game of the homestand against Colorado at 1:35 p.m. Max Scherzer (11-8, 2.31) hosts Yohan Flande (2-1, 3.54).

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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