Stephen Strasburg got the game winning RBI and a home run and powered his team on a complete game shutout. It was four years ago this month that Strasburg had his only other shutout on a 4-hit gem that day. This one was a 6-hitter and the best part of it was Realmuto took advantage of the Nats on a grounder into the leftfield corner and he deked Howie Kendrick coming around 2nd base and Realmuto kept going for a leadoff triple. Strasburg then struck out the next two batters and finished that inning on a harmless groundball to keep his shutout alive and well.
It was a 0-0 game going into the bottom of the 5th inning when Strasburg hit a 409 foot bomb over the right-centerfield wall for the first run of the game. Two batters later Wilmer Difo would add a home run of his own. Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon would combine for a run on a Rendon double for the third run of the game. The last run scored on a wild pitch to make the final score 4-0.
Dusty Baker had to get Brandon Kintzler warming in the final inning as the lead-off batter singled off of Strasburg, but Stephen dropped the hammer and even threw some sliders to carve through the final 3 batters. Strasburg finished his outing on 110 pitches and got his ERA under 3.00 to finish at 2.90 which is 6th in the Majors for qualified pitchers and now Strasburg has thrown his hat in the Cy Young discussion with this performance.
“[Strasburg] had great command of all of his pitches and in and out,” Dusty Baker said. “He was very determined from the beginning. He had a great day. It was his day.”
The Nationals improved to a season’s best 30-games over .500 with this 3-game sweep of the Marlins pushing the Magic # to 16 with 30 games remaining and a 81-and-51 record. The Nationals are now on pace to win 99.4 games this season, and that is truly incredible when you think of Dusty Baker’s roster this season has looked like a split-squad roster at times due to all of the injuries to star players.
“You can’t sit here and after the first inning and think, ‘I’m going to go nine today,’” Stephen Strasburg said. “The game’s way too hard. Just try and break up the game and take it one pitch at a time and go as long as you can until they take the ball out.”
With this complete game gem, Stephen Strasburg has now stamped his name on the Cy Young award’s race. He is now among the top pitchers in the Major Leagues.