Werth keeps on raking, Strasburg is cruising (the lead increases)

I’ve never been too good at math, but I’m pretty sure Jayson Werth now has 1,001 hits for his career.

End one game at 1,000 hits and deliver an RBI single to center in your first at-bat the next night, and I think that leaves us at 1,001.

Feel free to double-check the numbers for me.

Werth continues to rake, delivering a run-scoring single off Kyle Kendrick in the first inning that quickly broke a scoreless tie and put the Nationals up 1-0.

Stephen Strasburg has kept the score right there through his four innings of work, striking out seven and facing just one over the minimum to this point.

Strasburg threw a pitch to the backstop during a second-inning at-bat by Domonic Brown, and when the right-hander appeared to be in some discomfort, trainer Lee Kuntz, pitching coach Steve McCatty and manager Davey Johnson all came out to check on him.

After a brief chat, Strasburg threw one warm-up pitch and brushed off questions from the coaches and Kuntz, repeatedly shaking his head and appearing to tell all parties that he was fine. Strasburg looked down at the ground the entire time, as if to say, ‘Get the heck away from me, I’m good.’

He then proceeded to retire eight of the next nine Phillies he faced, six via the strikeout.

Everything has been working for Strasburg tonight. He’s punched up the fastball to 98 mph on the radar gun, and has gotten excellent movement on the changeup and curve.

Strasburg hasn’t pitched with a lead often this season, and the 1-0 advantage isn’t much to work with tonight. But he’ll take it.

Update: The Nats gave Strasburg two more runs to work with following a bottom of the fourth in which they brought eight guys to the plate and had four hits.

Wilson Ramos notched his second hit of the day, this one an RBI single to left, to give the Nats a 2-0 lead, and three batters later, Denard Span’s high chopper off the plate allowed Adam LaRoche to come in with the Nats’ third run.

Bryce Harper flew out to center to leave the bases loaded in the fourth, missing out on a chance to really pile on, but Strasburg now has some more rope to play with.

Ramos, meanwhile, is now hitting .323 with 22 RBIs in 26 games since returning from the DL July 4.

Update II: Strasburg isn’t lacking for run support today.

Three more Nats runs came around in the fifth, partially thanks to some good hitting, partially thanks to some poor Phillies defense and partially due to Ian Desmond’s tremendous heads-up baserunning.

Five straight Nats reached base to open the bottom of the fifth, and two runs came around when Ramos sent a grounder to second that Chase Utley tried to fire home to cut down the lead runner. The throw was too low for catcher Erik Kratz, allowing Werth to score, and when Kratz had a hard time locating the ball - which was no more than three feet behind him - Desmond took off from third and slid in just ahead of Kratz’s tag.

What a tremendous play by Desmond, and a gutsy one, at that. It’s 6-0 Nats after six.

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