Stephen Strasburg was done in by the Giants lineup and possibly the D.C. humidity. Bryce Harper might have been done in by something else, appearing to tweak something on a swing and departing tonight's game after six innings.
Needless to say, the Nationals' 7-1 loss to San Francisco did not go how anyone in the home dugout would have liked.
Strasburg was roughed up during his shortest start of the season (4 2/3 innings) and suffered only his second loss in 21 outings.
Harper, meanwhile, came out of the game after the bottom of the sixth, three innings after he hunched over in apparent pain and was visited by a trainer after fouling off a pitch at the plate. The slumping right fielder remained in the game but struggled throughout, striking out in all three of his at-bats, all against Matt Cain.
The Giants veteran right-hander, who no-hit the Nationals for five innings Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park, picked up right where he left off. Though he surrendered five hits, walked three and plunked two batters, he did not let a run cross the plate under his watch, giving him 10 scoreless innings against the Nats this week.
Strasburg has been used to getting a whole lot of run support - the club entered tonight averaging 6.8 runs in each of his starts - but he was on his own this time. The right-hander got things going quite well, retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced, but then came his first at-bat and that's when the game seemed to change.
Strasburg hustled his way to a double on a blooper down the right field line in the bottom of the third. But on a night when the dew point registered an uncomfortable 73 degrees, the right-hander looked gassed after that. He wound up retiring only five the final 13 batters he faced, giving up four runs along the way before he was unceremoniously pulled with two outs in the fifth, his pitch count at 88.
It was among the worst starts this season by Strasburg (15-2), who has now suffered both of his losses to National League West clubs: the Giants and Dodgers.
Nationals relievers Blake Treinen and Oliver Perez gave up a pair of insurance runs late, and Jonathan Papelbon (making his first appearance in five days) served up a towering homer to Brandon Belt in the top of the ninth on a 94 mph fastball.
Brian Goodwin, promoted from Triple-A Syracuse earlier in the day when Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list, sent a long flyout to the warning track in right field in his first career at-bat.