Stephen Strasburg exits after three innings (Nats fall 2-1)

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg left Tuesday’s game after pitching three innings. Strasburg was noticeably uncomfortable at several points during his 64-pitch effort, and had a prolonged discussion with pitching coach Steve McCatty after the second inning.

strasburg-throws-white.jpgIn the second, MASN cameras showed Strasburg wincing after throwing a pitch to Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, which drew a visit from manager Matt Williams, McCatty and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz. But after a brief conversation, Strasburg was allowed to remain in the game.

Strasburg ran into trouble to start the second. Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto smoked a gound ball down the left field line that Michael A. Taylor misjudged thinking it would carom off the stands which jut out close to the field of play. The ball ended up in the corner and Realmuto landed on third with a leadoff triple.

Taylor is playing left field for the first time ever in a major league game tonight. His previous 29 appearances came in center and right.

Marlins left fielder Ichiro Suzuki immediately followed with one of his signature slap singles to left to score Realmuto.

With a full count, Strasburg hit the next batter, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Marlins starter Mat Latos then dropped down a sacrifice bunt which Strasburg fielded but he weakly shoved a one-hop toss which first baseman Ryan Zimmerman couldn’t control. Suzuki raced home for the Marlins second run as Strasburg was charged with his first error of the season.

The Nats pitching staff is now responsible for seven of the team’s 26 errors.

Gordon faced Strasburg next. As the tall righty delivered, a painful grimace crossed his face. Williams, McCatty and Kuntz quickly made their way to the mound to check on Strasburg, who stayed in the game to escape the second with only two runs allowed.

Both runs against Strasburg were earned.

Like last night, the Nationals answered in the bottom of the inning. Zimmerman drew a leadoff walk and then catcher Wilson Ramos looped a double down the right field line. Two batters later, a Dan Uggla ground ball to Hechavarria enabled Zimmerman to cross the plate to cut the Marlins early margin in half. It was Uggla’s 700th career RBI.

Strasburg gave up a walk to first baseman Justin Bour and another single to Suzuki before getting out of the third without any damage.

But that was the end of Strasburg’s night as Williams sent right-hander Doug Fister in to pinch-hit for Strasburg to lead off the bottom of the inning.

Strasburg allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in three innings.

There is no injury report yet from the Nationals.

Fister actually came up with a single to right in the at-bat but the Nats weren’t able to advance him.

Left-hander Sammy Solis pitched a scoreless fourth in relief.

Update: Solis was impressive in his second career major league appearance. The 26-year-old pitched three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with one strikeout.

Right-hander Blake Treinen gave up a two-out walk to Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton in the seventh. Stanton stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch before Treinen was able to get center fielder Marcell Ozuna to fly out to end the inning.

The Nats offense has been quiet tonight. Ramos’ double and Fister’s pinch-hit single are the only hits against Marlins starter Mat Latos.

Update II: The Nats threatened with two on and no outs in the ninth but Marlins closer Steve Cishek battled back to shut the door on another Nats comeback.

The Marlins beat the Nats 2-1.

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