In what was supposed to be a rubber match between two-time All Star and up-and-coming Rockies rookie Jon Gray, Stephen Strasburg had his worst outing of the season. Over 1.2 innings of work, Strasburg gave up nine runs, nine hits, and three walks while striking out three. He was relieved in favor of rookie Koda Glover after surrendering a single to Tony Wolters.
Outfielder Gerrardo Parra, who came into the game hitting below .200, dealt the most decisive blow of the afternoon with a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the first. He and Wolters terrorized the Nats, with Parra’s double and Wolters’ three hits.
This ideal rubber match took 3 hours and 52 minutes while eight of thirteen pitchers used were scored off of. The Nationals showed signs of life and fight as they rallied to come within two runs in the top of the ninth inning. In the nine innings played, the Nats scored at least one run in seven innings. The Nats’ comeback effort was marked by Bryce Harper’s 461 foot blast over the right field fence. The rally fell just short in the top of the ninth after Chris Heisey put the Nats within two with a solo shot.
Although every baseball player, coach, and spectator of every variety must acknowledge that these uncharacteristic “laughers” do happen, this is the third start in a row where Strasburg has not been himself. In has last nearly 12 innings, he has given up 19 runs. In those starts, his ERA has risen to 3.59. This is a respectable ERA for most, but for the two-time All-Star and highly touted prospect whose ERA was 2.63 at one point this season, this is extremely troublesome.
Despite the foul takeaways from this game, outfielder Jayson Werth increased his on-base streak to 45 games. This is the second longest streak in Nationals history.
On Thursday night, the Nats travel to Atlanta to begin a four-game series. Game 1 will feature Reynaldo Lopez for the Nats. Lopez is coming off a phenomenal start against the same team where he only gave up one run over seven innings. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.