Pitching for the final time at Nats Park this season, Stephen Strasburg didn’t exactly go out on a high note.
The Nationals’ ace has seen his night end after just three innings of work. He was hit hard early, allowing five runs on six hits, walking three batters and surrendering four extra-base hits, two of which were homers.
His location was off, with a number of fastballs coming in thigh-high and right over the middle for Marlins hitters to hammer. Strasburg had trouble locating his off-speed stuff and kept falling behind in the count, forcing him to challenge Marlins hitters who have dominated him his last two times facing them.
Dating back to his outing against Miami on Aug. 28, Strasburg allowed 12 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits over his last eight innings vs. the Marlins.
Strasburg leaves trailing 5-2, with Corey Brown coming on to pinch hit for the Nationals’ ace right-hander.
The Nats Park crowd, amped up to see Strasburg in person for the final time this season, immediately had their enthusiasm dampened in the top of the first when he allowed two runs on two hits and a walk.
Strasburg then surrendered a solo homer to catcher Rob Brantly in the second, and a solo homer to Giancarlo Stanton and an RBI single by Donovan Solano followed in the third.
His final line for his final home start: 3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BBs, 2 Ks, 67 pitches, 37 strikes.
He now has thrown 159 1/3 innings this season and his ERA stands at 3.16, higher than Gio Gonzalez (2.98), Jordan Zimmermann (2.99) and Ross Detwiler (3.15).
Update: I guess this is why stealing bases and swinging with a 3-0 count is allowed in the middle innings, huh? The game isn’t ever over until it’s over, not that the Nationals were too far out of tonight’s game at any point.
They did, however, come back from a 6-2 deficit to tie things up in the eighth on Michael Morse’s solo homer to right-center.
It was Morse’s first homer since Aug. 17, and it was a big one.
Strasburg is now off the hook and we’re tied 6-6 going to the ninth.
Update II: What a roller coaster this one was.
After the Nats came back to tie it up, the Marlins tacked on three runs in the top of the 10th off Tyler Clippard and hung on through a dramatic bottom of the 10th to pick up a 9-7 win.
The Braves won earlier tonight, so the Nationals’ lead in the NL East is down to 6 1/2 games.