Jun 29, 2010, 5:33 AM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg stared down the Braves but was done in by his defense.
ATLANTA — He battled for six innings, making do with only two effective pitches against the best lineup he’s ever faced and somehow managed to carry a shutout into the seventh at Turner Field. Trouble was, the Nationals once again were unable to produce even one run of support, so Stephen Strasburg found himself in a position where one mistake would cost him the ballgame.
The mistake happened in the seventh, though it wasn’t Strasburg’s fault. No, the rookie right-hander got Troy Glaus to hit a tailor-made, double-play grounder to short that should have stymied the Braves’ rally. Instead, fellow rookie Ian Desmond booted the ball, a devastating defensive gaffe that opened the floodgates and ultimately sent Strasburg to his second consecutive loss.
What by all accounts should have been another dominant Strasburg start turned into another heartbreaking loss, this one a 5-0 decision that left everyone inside the Nationals’ clubhouse aching both for their young ace and for themselves. This team has, after all, lost five games in a row, each of them in crushing fashion.
“It’s not just Strasburg we’re letting down,” Desmond said. “We’re letting ourselves down. Strasburg did a great job, and absolutely it’s terrible to see him lose a ballgame where he pitched so well. But that’s the whole team. We played a great game, and one inning bit us in the ass.”
Read the complete story, including quotes from Mike Rizzo, on CSNwashington.com. Kudos to the folks over there on their sharp, new-look website.
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NL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
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MON: Game 3, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (MLBN)
TUE: Game 4, Nats at PIT/SF, TBA (FS1)*
OCT. 9: Game 5, PIT/SF at Nats, TBA (FS1)*
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