- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Strasburg goes into 8th, Nats top Dodgers 3-2
Question of the Day
WASHINGTON (AP) - By the time Stephen Strasburg reached back and threw a 96 mph fastball for a strikeout to end the top of the seventh with his 106th pitch, his usual first-inning struggles seemed long ago - and his day seemed over.
When the next inning rolled around Wednesday, though, Nationals manager Matt Williams sent Strasburg to the mound to face the top of the Dodgers’ order in what would become a 3-2 victory for Washington, the first time this season the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft pitched into the eighth.
“He’s our horse,” Williams said, indicating he’d like to keep his ace in deep into games more often.
“We don’t want to do that every time,” Williams added. “But in a game like today, he’s got the lead and (you) want to show confidence in him that we’re willing to send him back out there to protect that lead.”
Said Strasburg, who improved to 3-2 with a 3.42 ERA: “That’s the position I want to be in.”
After waiting through a rain delay of more than 1½ hours to throw his first pitch, the righty did what he’s done all season: labored to get the first three outs, then been fairly dominant. This time, he gave up four consecutive singles, including run-scoring hits by Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig, during a 28-pitch first as Los Angeles went ahead 2-0.
“I’ve been trying not to go out there and give up a crooked number early,” Strasburg said. “But you can give up one or two early and just keep it close and give your guys a chance to get back into the ballgame or get the lead.”
He’s allowed eight earned runs in his eight first innings in 2014, a 9.00 ERA.
From the second inning on, it’s 2.29.
“He’s as good as anybody on any given day. We’ve also seen that anybody can get beat on any given day,” Williams said. “We want to get him to that point where he can finish that eighth inning, too. That’s important for him.”
In all, Strasburg allowed two runs and seven hits - all singles - in 7 1-3 innings. He faced the minimum three batters in each of the second through fifth innings, and threw a total of 114 pitches.
In the sixth, he put two men on, but got Andre Ethier on a grounder for the third out. In the eighth, Strasburg also put two on, then was replaced by lefty Jerry Blevins, who got Gonzalez to pop out in foul territory.
Righty Tyler Clippard then came in to retire Puig, who missed the two previous games after crashing into an outfield fence. Rafael Soriano threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save in seven chances.
Adam LaRoche’s two-run single off the top of the wall in right off Dan Haren (4-1), who was with the Nationals in 2013, tied the game in the bottom of the first. Washington edged ahead on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the fifth from Wilson Ramos, playing his first game since opening day.
Ramos earlier had a double on the first pitch he’d faced in the majors since March 31, when he broke a bone in his left wrist against the Mets. He sat out 32 games.
By Ted Cruz
Israel saves its enemies; Hamas endangers its friends
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world