Stephen Strasburg’s strong finish to the 2015 season has carried over to 2016. On Tuesday, the Nats’ hurler shut the Marlins out through eight innings to lead the Nats to a 7-0 win.
The Nats’ seven game road trip concluded yesterday afternoon with a 5-1 loss to the Marlins which made the Nats’ 4-3 on the trip, including a split of four games at the generally deserted Marlins Park. There were some ups and downs in the series in South Florida, and we’ll look at the glass as half full by focusing on the positives.
- Stephen Strasburg’s Dominance
Since returning from injury in the second half of the 2015 season, Strasburg has been among the best pitchers in baseball. So far in 2016 he’s maintained that form, and he pitched his best game of the 2016 season in Tuesday’s 7-0 win over the Marlins.
By the pitching game score metric, the game was the fourth best start in the righthander’s career as he put up an 84 PGS while holding the Marlins to three hits and fanning 10 in eight innings pitched. Strasburg was in control from the beginning, and looked strong in the late innings as he registered the fourth game of his career where he’s pitched eight or more innings.
His 3-0 start in the 2016 season has put his career record in the season’s first month over the .500 mark (he is now 10-8 in March/April contests). He’s not allowed a home run this season in 21 innings pitched, and has a streak of 45 innings in which he’s not allowed a home run in road games.
Strasburg’s victory was the 11th in his career against the Marlins, the most the tall hurler has had against any opponent.
2. A Miami Missile
Don’t let the slender appearance fool anyone, Nats’ lanky outfielder Jayson Werth has primo power and that stroke was on display on Tuesday in Miami. Werth’s 432 laser shot into the garish beyond the outfield wall display broke a 0-0 tie in the seventh inning and started talented Miami lefty Adam Conley on the road to destruction. According to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker took, Werth’s blast left the park at 113 miles per hour. The last time Werth had a homer that left the park at that speed or greater was in August of 2014 when his homer off of San Francisco’s Tim Hudson made it to the seats in Nats Park at 114.4 mph.
3. Bryce on Fire
Bryce Harper’s accomplishments over the past year or so are well documented, but it is still fun to look at what the young outfielder is accomplishing. Today we’ll look at some of his accomplishments this season related to the long ball.
Harper had two homers in the Miami series, including one off of old friend Tom Koehler, to give him five in the seven game road trip and eight on the year. He has more than a week left to break his own record, set in 2013, for home runs in the season’s first month of nine. Harper also holds the record for the most home runs in any month by a National. He went deep 13 times last May on the way to his MVP season.
4. No Small Effort
Burly reliever Yusmeiro Petit was one of the heroes in Wednesday’s Nats 3-1 win, throwing four solid innings in relief of starter Joe Ross (who left due to a blister on his pitching hand) to earn the victory. The game marked the fifth time in Petit’s career where he’s thrown four or more innings in a relief role, and was the first where he picked up a win in such a contest.