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Jun 24, 2010, 1:27 AM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg had to pitch with men on base all afternoon.

By the ridiculously lofty standards he’s established for himself over the last three weeks, Stephen Strasburg’s fourth career start today ranked as a disappointment. The Nationals phenom allowed nine hits over six innings to the unheralded Royals and was charged with his first major-league loss.

Then again, Strasburg still allowed only one run, didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine while setting yet another record for rookie pitchers.

Perhaps had the Nats simply scored a single run in support of Strasburg, this outing could be looked at in a totally different light. Instead, it went down as an incredibly frustrating 1-0 loss, the second time in five days the 21-year-old right-hander was done in by a lack of offensive support.

Read Strasburg’s thoughts on the poor support, plus some interesting comments from Jose Guillen, on CSNwashington.com.

  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Jun 24, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    Jose Guillen, the new arbiter on all things pitching and all-around exquisite guy. What I best remember about this chump was his complaining about the distances at RFK. Guillen's main claim to fame seems to be his quest to play himself off of every team in the major leagues. By my count, it's nine … and counting.

  2. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    Today's loser: Stephen StrasburgToday's winner: Jose Guillen. Game-winning RBI, game-saving assist.

  3. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2010 at 2:21 AM

    Man, I don't miss Guillen. What a clown show.

  4. HHover - Jun 24, 2010 at 3:26 AM

    Guillen, today's winner AND loser.Winner, because he had the game winning RBI, and because he's right about Strasburg giving up hits on 0-2 and 1-2 counts–5 of the 9 hits SS gave up came on 2 strike counts, 4 of them on 0-2 or 1-2.And a loser because of that "gunned 'em down" pantomime after throwing out Bernandina at the plate, and because he managed to sound like such an a@@hole with his post-game comments about SS.

  5. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2010 at 4:17 AM

    Just a miserable day for Washington baseball. We've had 4 big events this year (Opener and 3 Strasburg starts) and the team has completely choked on three of those dates. They really look like a timid, too-careful team.It's sad to feel the great energy at the park when Stras takes the mound, then feel that energy slowly suffocated as our timid, overly-selective batters leave their phenom starter out to dry.Strasburg has got to be wondering if they're going to keep doing this to him.I didn't see any post-game press conferences, but I can't imagine having one of the hottest hitters on the team (Morse) and one of the top hitters in the NL (Guzman) sit on the bench and send Willie Harris up there to pinch hit.I think people are starting to accept this team isn't going anywhere this year. There's also a growing sense that next year's team could actually be worse than this year's.

  6. Ernie - Jun 24, 2010 at 4:49 AM

    I've been having doubts since the Rockies series, but thought I was just being pessimistic. I felt hopeless during the Astros series but thought they could still turn it around. After the White Sox series i think my spirit was finally crushed. I share anon 12:17's thoughts. Can they get better? What free agents are going to want to come to this team after seeing what's happening to Strasburg? Are we just going to get the guys who have something to prove on their way to a better team? Guys who want one last shot at the big leagues before retirement? Do we really have much trade bait other than guys on the farm teams?Maybe I'll pull out of this funk, but I'm scared about what happens when we start playing the Braves and the Phillies and legit teams again. It's going to be April-June 2009 all over…At least it was exciting for a couple of months. It will still be fun to watch Strasburg and Livo. And watching guys develop into major leaguers is fun too. But winning would be fun as well.

  7. rogieshan - Jun 24, 2010 at 4:53 AM

    Riggleman better get used to "tipping his cap" to every opponent's starter matched up against Strasburg, because they will all be bringing their A-game to the challenge. Why not just accept the fact that many hitters on the Nats have the wrong approach at the plate and, more often than not, get themselves out. I, too, fear a deep slide coming on with this current bunch.

  8. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    Jose Gullien is 100% correct in his assessment! I wish Jose was our RF right now!!“He still has a little to learn about how to pitch in certain counts,” said Jose Guillen, who drove in the game’s lone run with an RBI single in the fifth on an 0-2 fastball. “But his stuff is pretty good. I’m not saying it’s the best stuff I’ve ever seen, but it’s pretty good stuff. And when he learns [how to pitch in certain counts], that’s when he’ll be as nasty as he can be.”Not that the Royals’ roster didn’t come away impressed by the kid who has somehow managed to live up to the unfair hype and expectations that have been thrust upon him.“Now I realize why everyone is talking about him,” Guillen said. “It’s like he’s a Hall-of-Famer. That’s the way people have been talking about him. But I realized today that kid is pretty good.”

  9. Knoxville Nat - Jun 24, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Anon 9:02,I will agtree with your assessment that Guillen is 100% correct in his comments on SS however I do not want that guy back in a Nationals uniform at any time. Have you forgotten Mark Z's post a few weeks (maybe days) ago about what a bad fit he was in the clubhouse? Have you overlooked how many different teams he has played for in his major league career? Let the Royals or some other team deal with this guy.

  10. Anonymous - Jun 24, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    Guillen is one of the nicest guys and fiercest competitors that you could ever meet, if we had a bunch of Guillens and Livos this team would be winning!

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