Strasburg on no-decision, Desmond and Span react to 20/20

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg didn’t believe his six-inning no-decision was as “awful” as Nationals manager Davey Johnson described it.

The Nationals came back to beat the Marlins 5-4 on a late error.

“I went out there and competed,” Strasburg said. “That is all I can do. I think my changeup got better as the game went on. I spiked it a little bit early. Curveball was good from the start. And fastball command was kind of hit or miss.”

He was asked about how his forearm felt after the start.

“To be honest, it doesn’t really matter,” Strasburg said. “So I just want to go out there and give everything I have and hopefully keep it close. We were able to do that today and get a win.”

Two weeks is a long layoff for a starter. It is almost like he was on the disabled list. Strasburg tried to keep himself calm early in the outing when every pitch wasn’t hitting their spots.

“Not really get too frustrated,” Strasburg said. “You probably are not really going to have as good a feel for your pitches. Just go out there and try to be as effectively wild as you can.

“Stranger things are going to happen throughout my career. It is good to just roll with it and do your job.”

Johnson confirmed that Strasburg is on schedule to make his next start, which would be his 30th of the season, a good milestone for a pitcher just two years removed from Tommy John surgery.

“For me, I think there is a lot of things that I have learned this year,” Strasburg said. “A lot of improvements to be made. I am going to work harder than I did the last offseason. That is all you can really do. You really can’t focus on the results necessarily because there are just going to be some times where some teams have everything go there way an entire year. I feel like we have had to deal with a lot of adversity this year.”

With a stolen base in the seventh inning, shortstop Ian Desmond joined the 20/20 club (20 homers and 20 steals) for the second straight season. The only other player to reach the 20/20 plateau as a Nationals was Alfonso Soriano, a 40/40 man.

“It is pretty cool,” Desmond said of repeating the feat from 2012. “It is definitely a blessing. I wasn’t always headed down this road in my life. I am just fortunate and try to take every day as a blessing and try to do the most I can every day.”

Teammate Denard Span, who is second on the team with 19 stolen bases, appreciates what Desmond has accomplished.

“He is always ready to play,” Span said of Desmond. “He is a smart player. He does it all, I am going to be honest with you. He has a strong arm, hits for power, hits for average. He is the total package.”

Span said he has known Desmond for a while now, but this season was the first in which they played on the same team.

“He is definitely the real deal,” Span said. “Every day, he is ready to go with the same intensity. He never looks tired. He is never frustrated or flustered. He is just always ready to go. He is definition of a gamer.”

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