Minus one pitch in his arsenal, the Washington Nationals ace got shelled for one of the worst outings of his career.
Strasburg said he was having issues with his mechanics that were causing hitters “to see the ball a lot better. … Still trying to figure that out. It just doesn’t feel the same, it doesn’t look the same.”
Manager Matt Williams said Strasburg was commanding his fastball, but the changeup threw him off. That’s not good news against the aggressive Brewers, even with top hitters Ryan Braun, Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez all getting a day off.
“So he couldn’t go to it, he was missing with that,” Williams said. “And then he got behind in the count and they took advantage of it. This team swings at fastballs and they hit them. If you get behind, you can get in trouble.”
Homer-prone starter Marco Estrada (7-4) allowed just two hits and pitched effectively into the seventh for the Brewers, who bounced back a day after falling 4-2 in 16 innings to Washington.
Estrada has given up a major league-high 24 homers, but didn’t allow a homer Wednesday.
Estrada’s only other outing without a homer was during a 6-1 loss to St. Louis on April 15. On Wednesday, fans showered him with a standing ovation after he got lifted in the seventh.
“The way the game was going, I’m sure everyone was really excited about it — but to get some cheers in that game, it made me feel really good,” Estrada said.
Gennett turned on a 2-1 fastball for his first career grand slam and fifth homer of the season that landed on the concourse above right-center field in the second for a 4-1 lead.
The Brewers‘ bats broke out after scoring just two runs in 25 innings in the first two games of a series between NL division leaders. Rookie Taylor Hill, making his major-league debut, allowed two runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings of relief.