Is anyone else blown away by the fact that yesterday was just the second time in 25 career starts that Stephen Strasburg allowed more than three earned runs in a game?
I still had trouble believing that was accurate, even after I had looked over all of Strasburg's outings and then double-checked the numbers later on yesterday afternoon.
That's remarkable consistency out of the 23-year-old.
While Strasburg has been grooving through much of this season, Ryan Zimmerman has not yet been able to get into a comfort zone. After an 0-for-4 effort yesterday, Zimmerman's averaged dropped back down to .230 on the season, and he has added just one home run and eight RBIs this year.
Zimmerman is still reaching base at a decent .346 clip and has at least one walk in five of his last six games, but the power production just hasn't been there this season.
Part of that is likely due to the shoulder inflammation which pushed Zimmerman to the DL back a few weeks ago, but another part of it, according to manager Davey Johnson, is that Zimmerman just hasn't gotten the breaks, even when he's put good swings on the ball.
"He started the season hitting the ball hard," Johnson said. "It's kind of frustrating trying to get something going when you center the ball and hit it right at somebody. He'll be fine. I'm not worried about it."
Johnson added that he thought there was one at-bat yesterday when Zimmerman was a little too aggressive at the plate - when he grounded into a double play in the bottom of the sixth, swinging at a first-pitch fastball down out of the zone from Anthony Bass - but overall feels confident in his third baseman.
Meanwhile, yesterday was a strong day on the Nationals' farm, as Triple-A Syracuse, Double-A Harrisburg and low Single-A Hagerstown all picked up wins.
Syracuse extended its win streak to a season-high seven games thanks to two-run homers by Xavier Paul and Corey Brown and 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball by starter Yunesky Maya.
Brown now has seven homers, 17 RBIs and is batting .281, while Paul upped his average to .313 and has four bombs and 16 RBIs on the season. Maya, who had a rough spring training with the Nationals, now has a 2.76 ERA on the season, best on the Chiefs' staff.
Harrisburg has now won four games in a row for the first time this season, while Hagerstown improved to 20-15 thanks to third baseman Matt Skole's 4-for-4, five-RBI performance. Skole hit two more home runs, giving him eight on the year, and upped his RBI total to a league-best 40.