“Felt pretty good, battled,” Strasburg said. “Fastball was up a little bit tonight. Trying to keep it close.”
A key play in the game came in the seventh when the Nationals were able to get Billy Hamilton caught between third and home plate. Strasburg could see Hamilton leading off of third base.
“I thought about it and it was either can I go out of the stretch or go out of the windup,” Strasburg said. “I said if he decides to break, I can just throw it home any time out of the wind up. I just wanted to make sure my stuff was there for (Brandon) Phillips. He is a good hitter and knows how to get his RBIs. Just helped me out by taking the bat out of his hands.”
Strasburg said game planning for Hamilton is not easy because of how quickly he can move on the base paths.
“You do what you can,” Strasburg said in preparing for Hamilton. “Probably one of the fastest players in the game. So he is going to get his stolen bases. As long as you focus on the hitter and make sure the guy in the box doesn’t get a hit where he can go first to third or even score from first. That is the big thing.”
Losing pitcher Ross Detwiler talked about the pitch that Todd Frazier hit for the go ahead two run shot.
“I am trying to get a ground ball right there,” Detwiler said. “Bad execution, bad pitch selection. Pretty much bad all the way around.”
Detwiler was asked if it was tough to sit out in the bullpen all night before finally get a chance to pitch in the 15th inning.
“No, I don’t think so,” Detwiler said. “They are doing the same thing on the other side. Just like I said, it was one bad pitch. I was stupid. It sucks that our team is out there fighting all night long and I make one mistake and that pretty much cost us the game.”
Nationals reliever Drew Storen pitched one scoreless inning. He was one of six relievers who pitched in the 15-inning affair.
“It was a tough situation tonight,” Storen said. “See what we did there. It makes it fun the group effort down there. You do feed off each other. Especially when you have guys like (Aaron) Barrett coming in and doing what he is doing too.
“You go out there as a bullpen and just look to put up one more zero. Just get our guys up to the plate with an opportunity. It’s tough. That is a long game right there. When you have guys going out and performing like they are, you feed off of that.”
Third baseman Anthony Rendon weighed in on if losing a 15-inning game that takes five hours to complete hurts more than a nine-inning loss.
“It still counts as one,” Rendon said. “It’s all good.”
Pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen had a double in the 14th inning. He had a chance to score before Rendon’s laser shot to center field was somehow caught by Hamilton in mid air to end the threat.
“Sometimes you get into those situations and the crowd is not into it,” Frandsen said. “Our crowd stayed there for the people that didn’t have to work tomorrow. They were loud for us. That was pretty awesome. I feel like everyone was in it. Guys came off the bench for a pinch hit taking good cuts, not swinging at balls, doing that stuff. Our pitchers did a great job all night tonight.”
Frandsen said they had chances, but the Reds defense made some plays too.
“It sucks to lose,” Frandsen said. “No one wants to lose. But at the same time, our guys have done what we have done all year. We consistently battled. Our pitchers pitched their butts off. We continued to fight and we had chances. They made plays on two great swings we had and two great opportunities. Yeah, you tip your cap to them. But at the same time it lights something under you know ... because the first game of the series. But at the same time it was a great game and you can’t get down upon that.”
Frandsen spoke about the bullpen and how they kept the Reds off the scoreboard from the eighth inning all the way through the 14th frame.
“The bullpen’s been great,” Frandsen said. “Obviously, being on the other side the last couple of years, wasn’t a fun bullpen to ever face. Our guys, they prepare. They are out there every day, and you know they want the ball. That is my favorite part. They always want the ball. No matter how often they have thrown or whatever. They always want the ball. I want the ball in all their hands, especially Ross (Detwiler) in that situation. He is our long guy there. Unfortunately it didn’t come about. But I will have him out there every time. They want that moment, especially in a tie ball game, to keep it there. They did their jobs like they always do.”