December 10, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 119 Review: Strasburg cruises, Harper homers in win over Mets

LAROCHE, HARPER HOMER AS NATS EXTEND DIVISION LEAD TO SIX

Last time out against the Atlanta Braves, Stephen Strasburg wasn’t himself, allowing a career-high four home runs and seven total, driving his road ERA to 5.25.

Thursday night, Strasburg conquered those demons, pitching seven innings without giving up an earned run to lead the Washington Nationals to a 4-1 win over the New York Mets, sweeping their division rival at Citifield.

Washington moves to 66-53. Coupled with the Braves loss to Los Angeles earlier in the evening, the Nats now hold a six-game lead in the N.L. East.

The Nats jumped on top in the first inning. With one out, Asdrubal Cabrera drew a walk from Mets starter Dillon Gee. Anthony Rendon lined out for the second out, but Adam LaRoche cashed in, drilling an o-2 fastball to the left-center bleachers for at early 2-0 lead.

The scoring continued in the fourth inning. Gee walked Ian Desmond leading off the inning, then Bryce Harper hit his third home run in six days, crushing a 1-1 fastball to right center.

The Mets got on the board in the bottom of the inning. Daniel Murphy singled to lead off and took second when Desmond’s throw got past LaRoche at first. Murphy then stole third as Rendon dropped the throw from catcher Jose Lobaton. He scored on Lucas Duda’s sacrifice fly to deep center field that Span had to track a long ways to pull in.

Strasburg left after cruising through seven innings. He allowed just three hits and two walks, striking out eight. He threw 101 pitches, 66 for strikes and generated eight ground ball outs against two fly outs. The only run against was unearned due to Rendon’s error.

Tyler Clippard tossed a perfect eighth inning and Rafael Soriano cleaned up in the ninth for his 28th save of the season.

The Nats start a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday. Tanner Roark (11-7, 2.86) hosts Charlie Morton (5-11, 3.62) at 7:05 pm.

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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