Strasburg, Sanchez dueling in D.C. (Nats lead 2-0)

We’ve got a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel here at Nationals Park, as Stephen Strasburg and Anibal Sanchez are matching zeros.

Through five innings of play, Strasburg has allowed just three hits and has struck out five Marlins hitters.

He’s thrown 71 pitches, 43 for strikes, and has overpowered Miami’s lineup with a fastball that’s topped out at 98 mph and a curveball which has been nasty.

Sanchez, meanwhile, has completely held Nationals hitters at bay, allowing just two hits through five. Danny Espinosa’s bunt single (which was initially ruled a throwing error on Sanchez) and Wilson Ramos’ groundball single to left have accounted for the only hits today for Washington.

Thanks to the work on the mound, the Nats and Marlins are still scoreless heading to the sixth inning.

Today’s “Oh my goodness, look away” moment came in the second inning, when a Strasburg fastball glanced off Ramos’ mitt and drilled home plate umpire Greg Gibson in the one place no man wants to be drilled.

Gibson bent over at the waist and understandably needed a few minutes to regain his composure. How he’s still standing at this point, I have no idea.

Update: Think one run will be enough to lock up another win?

Ian Desmond has given the Nationals a 1-0 lead after six innings on a massive solo home run to deep left field. Desmond demolished a 2-0 slider from Sanchez, and touched home with the first run of the day.

Strasburg now is in line for the win after being pulled after six scoreless innings. He allowed just four hits and a walk, with six strikeouts, lowering his season ERA to 1.08.

Update II: Make that 2-0.

Jayson Werth’s first home run of the season - a line shot out to left - has given the Nats a two-run cushion going to the eighth.

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