Strasburg starts slow, settles into groove

FLUSHING, N.Y. - In his first inning of work today, Stephen Strasburg threw 26 pitches, only 10 of which were for strikes.

He allowed a single to Ruben Tejada leading off the game, walked the Mets' No. 2 hitter, Daniel Murphy, on four pitches and tossed a wild pitch, allowing both runners to move up a station.

But much like Ross Detwiler last night, after allowing those first two hitters to reach, Strasburg has settled down.

As we stand in the top of the fourth, Strasburg has retired six straight and nine of the last 10 he's faced. He's struck out four, including a first-inning K of Ike Davis which came on a nasty 3-2 curve, which started on the outside corner and broke all the way back across the plate to freeze the Mets first baseman.

Strasburg then got out of that first-inning jam by getting Jason Bay to ground out to short.

The Nats' 23-year-old starter had some issues with home plate umpire Larry Vanover's strike zone in that first inning, even after just one batter. Strasburg had a short talk with Vanover immediately following Tejada's single, as the righty thought he had a strikeout of Tejada on the previous pitch.

According to my eyes, Strasburg struck Tejada out. According to Vanover's, he didn't. And unfortunately, my eyes mean nothing right now.

Vanover's been pretty inconsistent so far, and has gotten multiple cold glares from players on both sides.

The Nationals have a 1-0 lead here in the fourth after Mark DeRosa scored on a Johan Santana wild pitch in the second.

DeRosa reached on a single, giving the 37-year-old his first hit of the season after starting 0-for-11.

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