After burning through the bullpen in the 16-inning affair Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals needed starter Stephen Strasburg to play “stopper” and give the pen a needed rest. It didn’t happen.
Strasburg gave up seven earned runs — matching a career-high — and the Nats offense mustered just two hits all day as they fell 9-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Strasburg (L, 6-6, 3.70) didn’t have very good command if his fastball. He was still throwing strikes (58 0f his 90 pitches were in the zone), but left many of his fastball offerings right over the plate. In 4 2/3 innings, he gave up eight hits and three walks, striking out just two Brewers.
The Nats (41-36) scored a run in the second on a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice by Nate McLouth, but the lead was short-lived.
Strasburg allowed a single to leadoff hitter Mark Reynolds in the bottom of the inning, That was followed by a double by Elian Herrera and a walk to No. 8 hitter Martin Maldonado, the backup catcher. After Brewers starter Marco Estrada struck out, 5’6″ Scooter Gennett turned around a 95-MPH fastball over the wall in center field for a grand slam and a 4-1 Brewers lead.
The Nats cut the lead to two in the fourth, as Ian Desmond’s double — the first hit of the game for the Nats off Estrada — drove in Ryan Zimmerman, who had walked to lead off the inning.
The Brewers answered right back. Khris Davis drilled Strasburg’s first pitch of the bottom of the fourth over the fence in left center to make it 5-2, and any life the Nats had was quashed.
Milwaukee added two more in the fifth off Strasburg, and two more in the sixth off reliever Taylor Hill, making his Major League debut on an emergency basis after the 16 inning game Tuesday night.
The Nats, after taking two of three against first-place Milwaukee, travel to Chicago for a four-game series with the Cubs. Doug Fister (6-2, 2.65) faces Travis Wood (7-6, 4.55) Thursday at 8:10 pm ET.