Nationals’ Strasburg dominates Marlins again
MIAMI — Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg extended his overall scoreless streak to 26 innings.
He extended his scoreless streak in matchups against the Miami Marlins to 18 innings.
In short, he’s been dominating this year, which is what makes the apparently minor discomfort he suffered in his right calf on Tuesday night such a major concern.
“I’ve been dealing with that for a little bit,” Strasburg said after pitching six scoreless innings to lead Washington to a 2-1 win over Miami on Tuesday night at Marlins Park. “It seems like I lose a lot of fluids.
“It doesn’t matter how much I drink, it just goes right through me. IVs have seemed to help me in the past, but they weren’t willing to give me one here. ... I’ve just got to find a way. I went as long as I could.”
Strasburg (12-4) did just fine in the time he was out there, allowing six hits and no walks. He struck out eight, lowering his ERA to 2.78. It was just the third time this year Strasburg did not walk a batter. But in those other two games, he struck out only five batters combined.
His career record against Miami is 15-7, including 3-0 this season. Strasburg shut the Marlins out last week, but Miami manager Don Mattingly said his team was improved this time around.
“We didn’t get to him, but we had better at-bats,” Mattingly said. “We just need to have production at some point, and we weren’t able to do that.”
Strasburg was supported by Daniel Murphy, who homered for the second straight game Tuesday and nearly had another. Murphy, who went 2-for-4, has 22 homers and 88 RBIs this season.
Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, who leads the majors with 53 homers, did not go deep in this game, finishing 0-for-4. However, he did get his glove above the right-field wall, stealing the aforementioned potential homer from Murphy.
Odrisamer Despaigne (0-3), making just his fourth start of the year, took a tough-luck loss. He allowed five hits, two walks and one run in seven innings, striking out two.
“Hopefully I can stay in the rotation,” Despaigne said. “The (Nationals) are a good hitting team, but I located my pitches.”
With the win, Washington (84-54) leads the National League East by 17 games over the second-place Marlins (67-71), who have lost eight of their past nine games.
Washington opened the scoring in the second. Adam Lind hit a leadoff double, advanced to third on a Jayson Werth groundout and scored on Pedro Severino’s RBI single.
Miami put its first runner in scoring position in the seventh on a two-base error by Werth, who dropped a two-out fly ball in right field. But Miguel Rojas, who reached on the play, was stranded when pinch hitter Ichiro Suzuki grounded out to second.
Washington went ahead 2-0 when Murphy pulled his homer to right off of reliever Kyle Barraclough.
Sean Doolittle allowed an unearned run in the ninth and picked up his 18th save of the season, including 15 with Washington. Pinch hitter Tyler Moore drove in Marcell Ozuna with a sacrifice fly. But rookie Brian Anderson lined out to end the game.
After it was over, the big topic was Strasburg and his cramping issue.
“He threw the ball great,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. “It (cramping) just came up again. I don’t know what to make of it.”
NOTES: Miami nominated 2B Dee Gordon and Washington nominated 1B Ryan Zimmerman for the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award, which goes to the major-leaguer who best exemplifies sportsmanship, community involvement and contribution to the team. Each major league team nominates one player, and the winner is announced during the World Series. ... Miami named OF Brian Miller and RHP Max Duval as Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month. Both of them play for Low-A Greensboro. ... Nationals RF Bryce Harper, out since August 12 due to a left leg injury, has yet to begin running. ... The Nationals will throw LHP Gio Gonzalez (13-6, 2.58 ERA) against Marlins LHP Dillon Peters (0-0, 0.00 ERA) in Wednesday’s series finale. Gonzalez is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA against Miami this year. Peters tossed seven scoreless innings in his major league debut last week.