PHOENIX - This will wrap up Stephen Strasburg's 2013 season.
The right-hander went seven strong innings tonight, and leaves with the Nationals holding an 8-2 lead mid-way through the eighth thanks to Wilson Ramos' three-run shot. It was Ramos' 16th homer of the season, and it's turned this game into a blowout.
Outside of a blip in the third inning in which he walked two, hit the pitcher and allowed two runs, Strasburg pitched pretty darn well tonight. He allowed just the two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Here are Strasburg's final numbers for the 2013 season: 3.00 ERA, 183 IP, 1.05 WHIP, 191 K, 56 BB.
With a win tonight, Strasburg would move to 8-9 on the season.
He went at least seven innings in 16 of his 30 starts this season, compared to working seven frames in just five of 28 starts in 2012. That was a big focus for him coming into this year, and while he's had a few shaky outings where he's needed to leave early, Strasburg has shown he can keep his pitch count low enough to get himself deep into games.
All-in-all, it's a pretty solid season for the Nationals' ace. He probably expects more of himself, and given the amount of talent that he possesses, there are a lot of outsiders who feel the right-hander should be in the Cy Young conversation every season.
But this season was a step in the right direction for a guy who is still just 25 years old.
Update: Tyler Clippard worked a perfect eighth and Xavier Cedeno got the final out in the ninth after Fernando Abad allowed three hits and two runs, and the Nationals beat the Diamondbacks 8-4 in Game 160.
This gives the Nats their 85th win of the season and makes a winner of Strasburg for the eighth time this season.