Manager Matt Williams provided reporters with his thoughts on Stephen Strasburg’s rough start, rookie Taylor Hill’s first outing and the dustup between Ian Desmond and Carlos Gomez following the Nationals’ 9-2 loss to the Brewers.
Strasburg fell to 6-6 with perhaps his worst start of the season. Hill saved the bullpen by pitching the final 3 1/3 innings and cooler heads prevailed after Desmond and Gomez went at each other following the eighth inning.
Here’s what Williams had to say after the series finale:
On Strasburg not coming through for a long start after Nats’ 16-inning game Tuesday: “It’s going to happen sometimes. You get the bases loaded and you get one out over the plate to (Scooter) Gennett, and (Khris) Davis hit a fastball as well. So just wasn’t as pinpoint as he wanted to be today. We were limited, so we were hoping he would go further. But Hill threw the ball good, saved our bullpen today.”
On what went wrong for Strasburg: “I don’t know if it was fastball command so much today, but his changeup wasn’t as good today, so he couldn’t go to it. He was missing with that and then he got behind in the count, and they took advantage of it. This team swings at fastballs and they hit them, and if you get behind, you can get in trouble.”
On whether it was disheartening to not win against the Brewers’ worst starter: “No, it’s baseball. It happens. They played good today. They had the same hours we did and they came out swinging, and took advantage of a big swing early and got themselves ahead. We put one on the board early, but it wasn’t enough today.”
On Hill finishing the game in his major league debut: “Just it’s important. He didn’t get any sleep last night, got here this morning, went through everything with regard to the signs and all that stuff, and went out there and pitched. And he did well. He threw a lot of pitches, but it’s OK. He’s been used to that. He was excited. So different circumstance, it could be a better day for him. But nonetheless, he was excited to be here.”
On adjusting on the fly being the area Strasburg needs to improve: “I think that’s the case with anybody. If you get behind in the count, you ask for trouble. And that would be the case with Doug (Fister) or Jordan (Zimmermann) or Tanner (Roark) or anybody. So the key for Stephen is going to continue to be have fastball command early, be able to throw his breaking balls for strikes and use the changeup off of that. Today he was just a little backwards. He got one up in the zone and they hit it.”
On incident with Gomez and Desmond: “He didn’t say anything. We just went out there and calmed it all down. He slid past the bag, but it was a good feed by Desi and a good turn by (Kevin Frandsen), and Frannie got out of the way. So nothing further than that.”