Stephen Strasburg's first start back from Tommy John surgery is in the books, and there's little he could have done to make it more impressive.
Just a year and three days removed from the surgery, Strasburg dazzled on a dreary night at Nationals Park. He threw 40 of his 56 pitches for strikes, allowing only one more hit after Dee Gordon's double to start the game. Strasburg struck out four batters, touching 99 mph with his fastball, throwing a few changeups and curveballs with effectiveness and keeping the ball down in the strike zone. He was only slated to go four innings, but because he breezed through the Dodgers' lineup so quickly, manager Davey Johnson brought him back out for the fifth.
Strasburg showed a few signs of rust in the first inning, but after that, he was in command of the game. He's likely to get better and stronger from here, and 'here' is a place where plenty of Nationals pitchers would have liked to be this year; only 14 Nationals starts have had higher game scores than Strasburg's figure of 67. He provided more evidence that he's on his way to being an elite pitcher in the near future.
Brad Peacock is on for the Nationals in the sixth inning - but he's coming in with two runners on base and NL MVP candidate Matt Kemp at the plate. Johnson said he wouldn't bring Peacock in the game in the middle of the inning, but the starter will have to pitch out of a jam here. It's 3-0 Nationals in the sixth.