Stephen Strasburg has thrown three innings tonight, and any of the concerns about his velocity still lingering from his last start have quickly been erased. He's thrown 31 fastballs in his 37 pitches in the first three innings tonight, sitting between 96 and 99 mph with his four-seamer, and has struck out Marlins slugger Mike Stanton twice.
Strasburg has dialed up three high fastballs against Stanton, getting him to swing and miss at the first two and foul off the third. That's helped Strasburg strike Stanton out twice. Aggressive hitters will have a hard time laying off that high fastball, and when Strasburg gets to 0-2, he's got any number of ways he can go. The first time, he pumped another fastball past Stanton, before burying a low 91-mph changeup in the second at-bat. Strasburg has only gone to his curveball four times tonight, and if he can throw strikes this efficiently (27 in 37 pitches), he doesn't need to use it too often.
Now, all that said, he did give up a deep double to Marlins starter Chris Volstad in the third inning, and eventually allowed a run when Omar Infante lifted one of Strasburg's curveballs to left for a sacrifice fly. Florida leads 1-0, as the Nationals try to figure out Volstad in the third inning.