The visiting Dodgers took on the undefeated Stephen Strasburg on Thursday afternoon at Nats Park. It took only two poor pitches to tarnish Strasburg’s perfect 13-0 record. In the top of the first, third baseman Justin Turner turned on a 3-2 challenge fastball and put it in the seats, scoring one more. After two more innings, the Nationals trailed only 3-1, until Turner again got to Strasburg. Strasburg hung a 3-0 cutter and Turner hit the ball into the Red Porch in centerfield.
Thursday’s contest was the eighth time this season that Strasburg has struck out 10 batters, but despite all the K’s, he gave up six runs on six hits, marking the most runs he has ever given up. It was the first time Strasburg has lost a decision since September 9 of last year against the National League champion New York Mets.
“I make decent pitches and they hit it. Sometimes, I make bad pitches and they hit it as well,” said Strasburg.
The Nationals showed life in the late innings. Shortstop Danny Espinosa laced a hustle-double into deep right field, which scored outfielder Chris Heisey. Washington scored its third and final run in the bottom of the seventh inning when fill-in first baseman Daniel Murphy sneaked a dribbling grounder into centerfield, scoring outfielder Michael A. Taylor. Also in the seventh inning, the Nationals had the tying the run at the plate with two men on, but could not convert. The Nats batted .077 with runners in scoring position on Thursday afternoon.
“It seems like most of the year, that two-out RBI hit has eluded us,” said Nationals manager Dusty Baker on the lack of timely hitting.
Although the Nationals lost, there were some things to note. To accommodate for call-up Trea Turner, the Nationals moved Daniel Murphy to first base and kept Espinosa at short. Murphy played well, making a few picks at first and he looked comfortable at the position.
On Friday night, the Nationals will host the San Diego Padres for a three-game weekend series before a six-game road trip. Tanner Roark (9-5, 2.82 ERA) will face Luis Perdomo (3-4, 7.36 ERA) at 7:05 p.m.
Stephen Strasburg walks off the mound after the sixth inning. Strasburg struck out 10 batters while giving up six runs in his first loss of the season.