September 18, 2019

Washington Nationals Game 129 Review: Strasburg Pulled Early, Nats Beat Marlins

The Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 7-4 on Sunday afternoon despite starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg being pulled after four innings pitched.

Strasburg threw 60 pitches and 43 strikes in four innings while giving up four runs and two home runs on seven hits while striking out three batters. According to the team after the game, Strasburg left with an upper back injury not considered to be serious.

Miami’s offense came hitting right away with a three-run rally in the first inning. First baseman Jason Bour hit a three-run homer sending second baseman Dee Gordon and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki around to scoring while giving the Marlins an early 3-0 lead.

Washington managed to get on the board shortly there after with a two-run homer hit by outfielder Jayson Werth against starting pitcher Brad Hand in the third inning with one out.

The Marlins tacked on another run to widen the score gap in the fourth inning to make it 4-2 with a second home run of the day off Strasburg — a solo shot hit by left fielder Derek Dietrich — before Strasburg got pulled the next inning.

The Nationals’ offense was productive this afternoon, though, and manged a three-run rally in the fifth inning to take the lead and a two-run rally in the sixth inning to maintain that lead.

Outfielder Michael A. Taylor led the fifth inning rally with a single. Then, a double by Werth sent Taylor home before back-to-back singles from outfielder Bryce Harper and  first baseman Ryan Zimmerman produced two more runs, subsequently giving the Nats a 5-2 lead. A two-run homer by pinch hitter Clint Robinson in the sixth inning wrapped up Washington’s offensive output for the day putting them up 7-4.

Doug Fister, Felipe Rivero, Drew Storen and Jonathan Papelbon threw scoreless innings in their respective relief appearances, assisting the Nats in walking away the winners of Sunday’s game.

HERO: Werth (2 for 4) and Harper (1 for 4) for their offensive work and for pushing the Nats ahead in the fifth inning.

GOAT: Strasburg for his short outing. He left the game with discomfort in his upper back, the same issue that was causing issues earlier this season.

NATS NOTES: Washington’s currently 66-63 and 5 1/2 games behind the New York Mets in the National League East.

UP NEXT: The Washington Nationals and Gio Gonzalez (9-7, 4.11) face the St. Louis Cardinals and John Lackey (11-8, 2.92) at Busch Stadium in Missouri.

About Rachel Levitin

Rachel Levitin is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Nationals. For the past five seasons, she was credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals as an author for We Love DC. During her time spent with WLDC, Rachel composed game stories, covered off-the-field special events, and chronicled both of the Nats’ recent playoff runs. In addition to her work with WLDC, Rachel’s writing has been featured in the Washington Examiner and on MASNSports.com where she has been a featured guest blogger for the Nationals Buzz blog since 2011. Her love for baseball stems from having grown up on the north side of Chicago and falling in love with the sport’s history as a result of growing up just minutes from Wrigley Field. Rachel moved to DC in 2005 and has been following along with the Nats since their inaugural season. You can follow Rachel on Twitter @RHLevitin.

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