Aug 22, 2012, 5:08 AM EST
Associated Press photo
Stephen Strasburg improved to 15-5 with six innings of one-run ball.
As an out-of-nowhere cloudburst doused Nationals Park and a crowd of 33,388 during a 51-minute delay in the top of the third inning Tuesday night, Stephen Strasburg did whatever he could to stay loose and ready to retake the mound should the skies part and this showdown with the Braves resume.
On the advice of pitching coach Steve McCatty, Strasburg went to the batting tunnel below the Nationals’ dugout and threw about 15 pitches. Then he retreated to the clubhouse for a break. Then he returned to the tunnel for another 15 throws. Then back to the clubhouse for another break before finally both teams were summoned to the field for the resumption of play.
“It’s my first time really dealing with the rain delay or anything,” he said. “Cat kind of coached me through it.”
The way he responded to the interruption, perhaps Strasburg should try to incorporate that new routine into all of his starts. He actually got better as the night went on, tossing six dominant innings to lead the Nationals to a 4-1 victory and a 7-game lead over its lone remaining challenger for the NL East crown.
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
- Report: Nationals consider Zimmermann & Fister 'available'
- Nationals need to make 40-man roster decisions
- Zimmermann's gift to Souza for no-hitter catch revealed
- Report: LaRoche has $20M deal on table from Marlins
- Mets set plan for Harvey with Strasburg in mind
- Point/Counterpoint: Will Nats regret Zim's contract?
- Report: Marlins showing strong interest in LaRoche
- Nats minor league coordinator Beasley leaves for Rangers
- Former Nats RP Duke gets paid after career turnaround
- Braves to meet with top free agent Jon Lester