The matchup today looked like a “lock” for the Nationals with Stephen Strasburg going up against rookie Taylor Clarke who had an ERA over 5.00. There is a reason they play the games as Clarke out-pitched Strasburg in this one although neither was good. The Nationals actually had a 3-2 lead in the first inning, but Dave Martinez’s team never scored again. The final score in this stinker was 10-3.
For Strasburg’s final line, he finished at 5.0 innings, 9 hits, 6 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, and of those 9-hits there were 4 home runs. Maybe there was some bad luck in there, but most of it was just poor location on pitches. Strasburg finished at 95 pitches and he took the loss.
“When he’s really good, he mixes in all his pitches,” manager Dave Martinez said. “Today I think he was trying to find that fastball, that location, and it just wasn’t there.”
The bullpen had one bright spot in Javy Guerra who went two innings of scoreless relief. Kyle Barraclough put the game out of reach in the 8th inning after he surrendered 3-runs in 1/3 of an inning, and Tony Sipp came in and gave up 1-hit and turned a doubleplay on a play at the plate and a rundown started by Anthony Rendon. For the 9th inning, Trevor Rosenthal walked the first and second batters he faced in the inning and only gave up one run after a well-timed doubleplay was turned.
The offense had few highlights. Trea Turner turned in a 3-hit game and finished with a .298 batting average and an .898 OPS. Turner had a triple and scored the Nats first run. Juan Soto and Matt Adams each had home runs in the first inning, and that was about it. All starting position players had at least one hit in the game except for Adam Eaton who struck-out twice at key points in the game. Anthony Rendon thought he had a home run in the game and did not run it out and ended up with a long single off of the leftfield wall. In the 7th inning Rendon had a 2-0 count, and he swung at a pitch that he popped-up on the infield and did not leave the batter’s box according to @WarningTrackPower who was at the stadium. The MASN cameras never showed Rendon after contact as it was the third out and they cut to a commercial.
Onto tomorrow with Anibal Sanchez on the mound.