Skip to content

A dominant pitcher who’s only 2-2

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.

  1. rogieshan - Jun 29, 2010 at 6:11 AM

    Desmond: "We played a great game, and one inning bit us in the ass."Excuse me?? For seven innings your bats were silent. When did baseball become soccer?

  2. Dryw - Jun 29, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    I think what Desi was trying to say was more like "Stras pitched a great game, and for the first six innings, none of us managed to give it away for him. But you can't expect the rest of us to go more than six innings without an error, can you?"

  3. The Great Unwashed - Jun 29, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    And once again, Nyjer Morgan gets picked off first, AND misses the cutoff man…

  4. tomwalter13 - Jun 29, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Mark,I presume the reason you're quoting Desi is because none of the big guns (Zim, Dunn, or Pudge)is making himself available for postgame comments, especially after tough losses. (And that's why Desi is frequently interviewd by Debi Taylor of MASN after games?)If this is true, isn't one of the jobs of the "veteran leadership" to talk to the media and answer tough questions after tough losses?Particularly if you're the "Face of the Franchise"? Anyway, kudos to Desmond for manning up in these situations.

  5. K.D. - Jun 29, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    Why should Pudge or Dunn answer the tough questions? Pudge actually got on base twice, Dunn, Zimm and Pudge played good defense, you want them to throw Desi under the bus? Complain about their teammates? They are professional and won't be baited, they will say the right things, boring but true.

  6. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    Strasburg should have been out there in the bottom of the 7th, a fresh arm would not have allowed all of those hits..error…blah..blah…Strasburg was out of gas in the bottom of the 7th. Riggleman should have pinch hit for him!

  7. Anonymous - Jun 29, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Strasburg should have been out there in the bottom of the 7th, a fresh arm would not have allowed all of those hits..error…blah..blah…Strasburg was out of gas in the bottom of the 7th. Riggleman should have pinch hit for him! June 29, 2010 9:20 AM Anon 9:20, in the postgame media interview, Riggleman was asked this question. He said he didn't have anybody that was better, so he left him out there.So Riggleman knows his bullpen is wasted.

  8. A DC Wonk - Jun 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    Let's not forget: Strasburg's walking the leadoff guy on 4 pitches in the 7th was a problem, too.

  9. Bonnie Jo - Jun 29, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Earth to Desmond: if that's a great game, that I AM Derek Jeter.

  10. Steve M. - Jun 29, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    @The Great Unwashed said… And once again, Nyjer Morgan gets picked off first, AND misses the cutoff man… June 29, 2010 6:49 AM The pickoff was a bad call from the ump. Nyjer was trying to draw throws and disrupt Hudson. The ump screwed up the call.Then Nyjer reverts back to stupid and misses the cutoff man in the 7th. How many times can one guy do this in a season?

  11. Cwj - Jun 29, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    Great article MarkThe Nats have a true ace pitcher and he's 2-2(!)Essentially it's going to take 5 elite pitchers to make this a .500 club. For the first time all year, I'm very discouraged.

Archives

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter