The Smoking Gun(ner)
courtesy of Mylar Bono
The plain and simple story of Sunday’s Nationals game versus Ozzie Guillen’s Miami Marlins is that right-handed starter Stephen Strasburg posted six innings of shutout baseball, allowing just three hits, in Washington’s eventual 4-1 victory.
Not only that, but Strasburg aided his effort by adding run-support. Strasburg’s single off Miami right-hander Rick Nolasco in the second inning drove in Jayson Werth for the Nats first run of the day. Washington continued to score, having all nine batters in the line-up face Nolasco at the plate, by way of small ball.
The Nationals took advantage of Nolasco to create quite an interesting rally. They had four hits – all singles – and four runs in the second while drawing two walks and a hit-by-pitch. And while the Nationals’ offense didn’t produce any runs past that four-run second inning, that was all the needed to stay in the game.
Upon Strasburg’s exit, the Nats bullpen took the stage from three innings of work. Right-hander Craig Stammen had the roughest outing of all the Nats pitchers on Sunday having given up back-to-back doubles and a run to start the seventh inning. Past that, though, lefty Sean Burnett Miami scoreless in the eighth to make room for closer Drew Storen’s first save opportunity since coming back from the disabled list in 2012.
Much like “old times” – or last year – Storen went in for the save and got what he was looking for. Storen faced four batters in the ninth and gave up one hit while striking out a batter as well. None of the balls hit into play were outside of the infield.
The game marked Strasburg’s twelfth win of the season as well as 27 consecutive scoreless innings pitched against Miami for the ace.