That lat strain that sent Stephen Strasburg to the disabled list seems a distant memory.
Through three innings at Progressive Field, the Nationals right-hander has yet to allow a hit, walked two and struck out two in a scoreless tie.
Strasburg has thrown 47 pitches, but has only 25 strikes - an unusually high rate of balls for the power pitcher. He’s got five outs on ground balls.
Now the Nationals have to generate some offense. They had Anthony Rendon on second in the first on a one-out double, but stranded him. Jayson Werth led off the second with a single, but was quickly erased on a double play.
Update: Strasburg finally allowed a hit. Now the Nats are going to have to come from behind.
Jason Kipnis drew a one-out walk in the Cleveland fourth, stole second and went to third when catcher Jhonatan Solano’s throw short-hopped second. Carlos Santana followed with a run-scoring single to center.
Corey Kluber has handcuffed the Nationals through five innings, yielding three hits and striking out six.
Update II: The Nats wasted a golden opportunity in the sixth, and are still staring at a 1-0 deficit.
Denard Span reached second on an infield single and an error, then moved to third on Anthony Rendon’s single to right. But the Nationals couldn’t cash in a run with no outs and runners on the corners.
Ryan Zimmerman struck out swinging and Adam LaRoche bounced into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Lefty Fernando Abad is on for the sixth, meaning Strasburg’s day is done. Strasburg allowed one run on one hit, walked four and fanned four. He threw 82 pitches, 44 for strikes, and is in line for the loss.
Update III: If it weren’t for bad luck, the Nationals would have no luck at all.
It looked like the offense was primed to break through in the seventh, when the Nats loaded the bases with none out. Jayson Werth doubled, Ian Desmond was hit in the ribs with a pitch and pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi reached when Kluber failed to snag his popped up sacrifice bunt attempt.
Then Murphy’s law took over. Solano lined a ball right at first baseman Mark Reynolds, who easily doubled Lombardozzi off first, and Roger Bernadina ended the threat with a groundout to short.
Craig Stammen has relieved Abad as we head to the bottom of the seventh.
Update IV: It’s over. The Indians tacked on a run in the eighth for a 2-0 win over the Nationals.