November 21, 2017

Washington Nationals Game 155 Review: Strasburg shuts down Marlins

Behind seven stellar innings from ace Stephen Strasburg, the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 2-1 on Sunday.

It wasn’t without some tense moments though, as deposed closer Rafael Soriano gave up a run in the ninth inning before finally securing the last out of the game. Soriano was pressed into the closer’s role on Sunday as Drew Storen was unavailable due to pitching so frequently this week.

Before then, it was a two-run rally for the Nats in the fifth — and Strasburg.The right-hander, who will be the obvious choice to start Game 1 in any playoff series the Nationals will participate in, dominated the Marlins over seven innings. He allowed just three hits and two walks, striking out five.

Strasburg (W, 13-11, 3.23) threw 84 pitches, 55 for strikes, and generated 11 ground ball outs. He did not allow even one fly ball out.

In the fifth, the Nats reached Marlins starter Nate Eovaldi (L, 6-13, 4.44) for all the runs they needed this day.

Jose Lobaton, Strasburg’s personal caddy in the second half of the season, doubled to center leading off the frame. he scored on Nate Schierholtz’ triple to right field. After Strasburg bounced out to first, Anthony Rendon delivered Schierholtz with a double to left field.

That’s all Strasburg needed.

Craig Stammen pitched a scoreless eighth to set up the save opportunity for Soriano, his first since being demoted two weeks ago. It didn’t go well. Reed Johnson doubled off an 88-MPH fastball to lead off. He went to third on a fly ball to deep center by Christian Yelich, and scored on Donovan Solano’s sacrifice fly to right.

The next batter, Casey McGehee, then laced a line drive to left, but Bryce Harper was able to track it down, allowing all of NatsTown to catch its collective breath.

Soriano was credited with his 32nd save of the season, but the erstwhile closer has allowed runs in five of his last 10 outings and has made just eight appearances in September.

The Nats are off until Tuesday, when they start a three-game home series agains the New York Mets. Tanner Roark (14-10, 2.85) hosts Bartolo Colon (14-12, 4.02) 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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