Strasburg strong in early going (Nats win 5-4)

Stephen Strasburg has looked both dominant and like he was battling himself tonight. But through four innings, he’s yet to allow a run.

A seven-pitch first inning was followed by Strasburg striking out the side in the second in a 1-2-3 inning. He allowed a Jonathan Schoop single to lead off the third, but Manny Piña lined into a double play and Chase Anderson grounded to short.

Strasburg-Throwing-Red-Sidebar.jpgThe fourth presented some issues for Strasburg, who had major control problems. He fanned Lorenzo Cain swinging, then walked Christian Yelich. After he struck out Jesús Aguilar swinging, he passed Travis Shaw to bring Ryan Braun to the plate with two runners on. But Braun struck out swinging to end the threat.

So, the Nationals have had two baserunners, both erased on inning-ending double plays. Spencer Kieboom walked with one down in the third, but Strasburg grounded into a 4-6-3 twin killing. In the fourth, Trea Turner singled with one down, but Bryce Harper bounced into a 4-6-3 double play.

We’re scoreless heading to the fifth.

Update: Strasburg ran into trouble in the fifth, with the Brewers taking a 2-0 lead by exploiting two Nationals errors to score a pair of unearned runs. Mike Moustakas led off by doubling off the right field wall and scored when Anthony Rendon was charged with an error on a bad-hop grounder by third off Schoop’s bat. After an infield single by Piña, Anderson couldn’t get a bunt down, fouling a third strike, and Cain reached on a fielder’s choice, leaving runners at the corners. Yelich then singled to right, scoring Schoop, and Cain went to third on Adam Eaton’s error. Aguilar grounded out to end the rally.

Going to the bottom of the fifth, it’s 2-0 Brewers.

Update II: The Nats got a run back in their half of the fifth. With one out, Juan Soto singled and scampered to third on Ryan Zimmerman’s single to left. WIlmer Difo hit a hard grounder off the glove of Aguilar at first, with Soto scoring and Zimmerman taking third when Anderson couldn’t glove Aguilar’s shovel feed. But Kieboom flew out to right and Strasburg bounced out, catcher to first.

Heading to the sixth, it’s 2-1 Brewers.

Update III: Piña homered off Jimmy Cordero in the seventh to extend Milwaukee’s lead to 3-1.

Strasburg went six innings, allowing two runs (none earned) on four hits, with two walks and seven strikeouts. He threw 93 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Update IV: We’re in a rain delay in the top of the eighth inning.

During the rain delay, a scoring change was announced. The error on Schoop’s grounder in the fifth inning has been removed, making it a run-scoring double. This also means both runs allowed by Strasburg are now earned.

Update V: Play resumed at 11:47 p.m. after a delay of 1 hour, 57 minutes. Matt Grace is on the mound for the Nats.

Update VI: Eaton doubled with two down in the eighth off Joakim Soria and Turner followed with a bloop single to short left-center to make it 3-2. Soria then walked Harper and Rendon before Dan Jennings relieved and surrendered a two-run single to Soto for a 4-3 Washington lead. Jordan Lyles came on and uncorked a wild pitch to plate Rendon for a two-run cushion.

Update VII: Pinch-hitter Tyler Saladino led off the ninth with a homer to left off Justin Miller, who got the final three outs.

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