Three straight losses will stick with Strasburg over the break

Those pesky Rockies.

They have the second-worst winning percentage in baseball and have a winning record against just three teams this season.

Those three teams: the 32-52 Astros, the 39-44 Brewers and the 48-33 Nationals, who own the best record in the National League.

Colorado has now won three of the five games it’s played with the Nats this season. Surprisingly, two of those three wins have come against Stephen Strasburg, who has registered losses in three straight starts.

Strasburg started out the season with a 9-1 record and 2.46 ERA in his first 14 outings. He was being talked about as the possible starting pitcher for the National League All-Star team, and as of June 20 had notched a win in six straight outings.

Since then, he’s 0-3 and has a 4.80 ERA. If you think those three losses (two to the Rockies, one to the Braves in which he went just three innings due to heat-related issues) won’t be on Strasburg’s mind nearly every minute until he makes his next start for the Nationals, you aren’t familiar with just how competitive the young righty is.

“He’s going to be champing at the bit to come back after the All-Star break,” manager Davey Johnson said. “I know he’s feeling a little bad that with that heatstroke, he felt like he let us down. But he’ll be fine.”

Of those last three outings, two have actually been quality starts, defined as a start in which a pitcher goes at least six innings and allows three or fewer earned runs. Strasburg allowed three earned over six innings in his June 25 loss to the Rockies and just two earned over six last night against Colorado.

That heat-shortened outing against the Braves is what it is, but it’d be tough to argue Strasburg’s performance has dramatically dropped off lately. Still, after winning six straight starts from May 20-June 20, he’s got an L next to his name his last three times out.

“It’s not a good feeling, but what can you do?” Strasburg said. “You can only go out there and give it everything you have and try and keep the team in the ballgame. Sometimes, it’s not going to work out.”

“(The All-Star Game is) going to be a fun experience, but by no means am I satisfied. I just need to talk to (pitching coach Steve McCatty) tomorrow and just try and learn as much as I can from this.”

I think it’s safe to say we should expect a rather fired-up Stephen Strasburg when he takes the mound his next start, whenever that may be.

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