We’ll be getting a heavy dose of both the Nationals and Diamondbacks bullpens tonight.
Stephen Strasburg and Trevor Cahill have both thrown well tonight, but through five innings, each starter has a pitch count in the 90s.
Strasburg has tossed 93 pitches, while Cahill has needed 92 to get through his five frames. Strasburg might very well be done before reaching the sixth, and if he is indeed finished, he leaves with at least a three-run lead.
The righty uncharacteristically walked four, but struck out six and gave up just one hit.
He was cruising right along until a nearly 10-minute break in the fourth inning appeared to disrupt his momentum.
Home plate ump Dale Scott took a foul ball off the face mask and needed to leave the game in the fourth, with Strasburg just a strike away from getting out of the inning. He hadn’t allowed a hit and had held the D-backs scoreless prior to the delay, but after sitting around for a while, Strasburg gave up a walk to Miguel Montero and an RBI single to Chris Johnson, ending his no-hit bid and his shutout bid all in one.
Johnson’s RBI tied it up at 1-1, but Ryan Zimmerman gave the Nats the lead right back in the fifth with a two-run shot to left-center, his 16th homer of the season. It’s 3-1 Nats after five.
Update: Davey Johnson left Strasburg in for the sixth, and thanks to another scoreless inning and Michael Morse’s third home run in the last two days, the Nationals now have a 4-1 lead as we go to the seventh.
Strasburg will almost certainly be done after having thrown 104 pitches.
Update II: Strasburg, Sean Burnett, Ryan Mattheus and Craig Stammen combined to toss a three-hitter, as the Nationals beat up on the D-backs, 9-1.
The Nats have earned win No. 70, have now won a season-high seven in a row and have moved to 27 games above .500.