On the seventh day of Strasmas…


Patriotic Stephen Strasburg.jpgStephen Strasburg is back on the mound and that means tonight’s game will be a hot ticket at Nationals Park, literally and figuratively. It won’t be 99 degrees at first pitch like it was on Tuesday night but it will be in the high 80s. Since temperature is always relative it feels like a fall day right now. This will be the fifth start at Nationals Park for Strasburg and he has single-handedly sold out the park in three of the four games. The lone game that wasn’t sold out had a paid attendance of 31,913. There were two factors in play for that game a) the Kansas City Royals were in town b) it was a 4:35 p.m. start time on a Wednesday.

 

Strasburg is 2-2 with a 2.45 ERA with 53 strikeouts in six starts. He is coming off the shortest Major League outing of his young career: 5.0 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts against the Mets on July 3. He struggled with his command in the first inning and allowed one run and issued three walks on 37 pitches–two on full counts. He limited the damage and got Jeff Francoeur to fly out to center with the bases loaded.

 

“I’ve learned that it’s going to take a few times just to get comfortable, get experience, to learn how to get a game plan for certain people,” Strasburg said. “Bottom line, I’m just enjoying this ride here and not really putting too many expectations on myself and whatever happens, happens.”

 

 Two things to keep in mind:

*Strasburg has received limited run support to the tune of a 2.70 runs per game average.

*Of the 557 pitches Strasburg has thrown, 33 percent of the time the batters have swung (267) and missed (88). Among active starters that is the highest percentage. Note: It might not be the fairest comparison. Strasburg has thrown 719 fewer pitches than the Rockies Jhoulys Chacin who is second with 28.7 percent swing and misses.

 

Lineups:

 

Giants (45-40):

1.    Andres Torres – CF

2.    Freddy Sanchez – 2B

3.    Aubrey Huff – RF

4.    Pat Burrell – LF

5.    Buster Posey – C

6.    Pablo Sandoval – 3B

7.    Travis Ishikawa – 1B

8.    Edgar Renteria – SS

9.    Matt Cain – SP (6-7, 2.98 ERA)

*According to Elias Sports Bureau, Aubrey Huff–who had two hits, including a home run, in the Giants’ 9-3 win at Milwaukee last night–has recorded at least one extra-base hit in each of his last seven games. This equals the longest extra-base streaks in the Majors this season–accomplished by Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, Troy Tulowitzki, and Delmon Young.

Nationals (38-48):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Roger Bernadina – RF

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Christian Guzman – SS

6.      Willie Harris – LF

7.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

8.      Wil Nieves – C

9.      Stephen Strasburg – SP (2-2, 2.45 ERA)

*Washington has surrendered a first-inning run in eight straight games, the longest such streak in the Major Leagues this season. The Nationals are 4-4 in those contests, however.

Luis Atilano optioned to Triple-A Syracuse: The Nats optioned right-handed pitcher Luis Atilano to Syracuse today. Atilano went 6-6 with a 4.85 ERA in 15 starts for the Nationals. The 25 year-old rookie took the loss in Thursday’s 7-1 setback vs. San Diego, allowing four runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings.

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