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Nats win on Strasburg’s 1st career complete game
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - Stephen Strasburg struggled during pregame warmups and tweaked his groin in the second inning. Yet after nine innings, he was still on the mound for the first time in the majors.
Strasburg pitched a four-hitter and struck out 10 in the first complete game of his career, Jayson Werth had his second straight three-hit game and the Washington Nationals completed a three-game sweep with a 6-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday night.
Strasburg (6-9) dominated the Phillies for his first win since July 7 against San Diego. The Nationals, who have been famously cautious with their star pitcher’s workload throughout his career, had lost five straight games started by the right-hander.
He’s also learned how to pitch when not at his best, which in this case allowed him to hear the crowd of 32,355 chanting his name during the final inning.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel good at all. I didn’t really have good command in the bullpen,” Strasburg said. “When that’s happened in the past, I feel like I would just try to jam it down their throat and throw it as hard as I can. I kind of learned that really didn’t get much accomplished.”
The Phillies never had a runner in scoring position during their 11th straight road loss. Philadelphia has lost nine of 11 overall and 17 of 20.
The sweep denied Manuel the 1,000th win of his career.
“It wasn’t like they were killing him,” Manuel said. “He battled, but they put up some runs on him.”
When needed, Strasburg provided the power.
“He’s tough,” Manuel said. “His breaking ball really set up his fastball in the middle innings until the end of the game. He was good. Power when he wanted it.”
In between wins, Strasburg went 0-3 with a 4.93 ERA in five starts, though the Nationals scored only 10 runs in those games. Two of Strasburg’s six victories on the season have come against the Phillies.
His biggest stress came starting the second inning. He winced after throwing a second straight ball to Domonic Brown, leading to a visit from the Nationals‘ training staff.
By Michael P. Orsi
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