October 18, 2021

Washington Nationals Game 159 Review: Strasburg finishes strong in win over Braves


It’s little solace after what was supposed to be a championship-caliber season, but the Washington Nationals guaranteed a non-losing  record, knocking off the Atlanta Braves 3-0 at Turner Field on Thursday.

Stephen Strasburg — completing his very strong second half — went six solid innings, Clint Robinson homered, and Felipe Rivero threw two perfect innings to record his first MLB save.

The Nats (81-78) got their first run in the second inning as Robinson drilled an opposite-field homer — his ninth of the season — on a 3-2 pitch against Braves rookie starter Ryan Weber.

After that, the two starters traded zeroes until they were lifted, Strasburg after the sixth, the Braves Ryan Weber in the seventh.

Strasburg (W, 11-7) allowed six hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over his six innings. The big righty, whose ERA was 6.55 on May 29, ended the year with a 3.46 ERA, going 6-2 in his last 13 starts with a 1.76 ERA, 110 K and 12 walks over 82 innings.

Weber, making the fifth start of his career, baffled the Nats hitters for seven innings. He gave up five hits without a walk and 10 strikeouts.

The Nats picked up a couple of insurance runs in the eighth. Wilson Ramos led off with a single off reliever Peter Moylan and was pinch-run for by Wilmer Difo. Yunel Escobar then drew a walk against Matt Marksberry. Anthony Rendon struck out against Danny Burawa, but Trea Turner’s grounder to third was thrown into right field by 3B Adonis Garcia, and Difo scored.

The next batter, Bryce Harper, beat out a potential double-play grounder and Turner scored the Nats third run of the game.

After Blake Treinen scuffled through an inning of scoreless relief, Felipe Rivero cruised through two scoreless to record his first MLB save.

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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