This was very nearly the Nationals’ biggest comeback of the season, a comeback that could’ve delivered a blow to their top division rival both psychologically and in the standings.
Instead, it goes down as a 7-6 loss.
The Nats trailed 6-0 after two innings and 7-0 after five, but clawed back to within one thanks largely to Anthony Rendon’s three-run homer and Wilson Ramos’ solo shot. They were unable to complete the comeback, however, and they see their division lead drop to 3 1/2 games with the loss.
Stephen Strasburg allowed all seven runs in five innings. He surrendered four homers and struck out nine.
Here are quotes from the clubhouse after the game:
On Strasburg’s outing: “Well, he got ahead of Justin with a curveball and then tried to go down and away with a fastball and left it middle of the plate. And then B.J. hit a curveball that was not where he wanted it to be. And then Freddie, on his homer, the ball was just up in the strike zone. So we were down early, but fought back hard. The guys really fought tonight. Not quite enough at the end.”
On how Strasburg can have good enough stuff to strike out nine but allow four homers: “You can’t put a finger on anything other than they put a good swing on it. He got ahead of Justin, he got ahead of B.J., and they put good swings on the baseball. Certainly they’re not where he wants them to be, those pitches, but it’s not easy to hit a ball out of the ballpark, either. Just keep fighting them.”
On if Jayson Werth will be able to play tomorrow: “We’ll get him going again tonight. He wanted to play today, so we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. But I anticipate he’ll be OK. We’ll see how he wakes up.”
On his outing: “I just didn’t execute pitches the way I needed to.”
On if it was a mechanical issue: “I don’t know. I felt pretty good. The ball was just up.”
On why he is notching so many strikeouts but allowing more hits than in the past: “I’m just not executing pitches. That’s the bottom line. It feels good out of my hand. I’m just not hitting the spot.”
On if that can be worked on between starts: “I don’t really know how to work on it. Some days, I’m hitting the spot. Other days, I’m a couple inches up. I’ve just got to roll with it, try to miss down instead of miss up.”
On seeing Steven Souza Jr. injure himself trying to rob one of the home runs: “It was tough to see. I just told him, asked him if he’s OK after it and I just told him I appreciate the effort. But at the same time, as he gets more innings, more playing time, he’ll have a better awareness. That ball’s probably not going to be caught.”
On Strasburg’s outing: “I think what I see today is he throw the ball good. Just miss the zone a little bit and over the middle of the plate. He throw the ball good. Just good pitches, just not in the right location.”
On if he sees anything wrong with Strasburg’s mechanics: “To me, everything was good. Pitch working good. Just that happens. Sometimes you throw the ball well just not in the right location. That’s happen today. He’s throwing the ball good.”
On hitting a homer his first game back after the birth of his daughter: “That was really special for me. I talked to my wife right now and I tell her that was the first homer for my daughter. That make me excited. That was one of the many I want to hit for her. Special moment.”