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Game 41: Nats at Padres

May 16, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT

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Stephen Strasburg makes his first career start at Petco Park.

In a career that has spanned 53 starts, Stephen Strasburg has pitched in 15 different big-league cities, though never in his hometown of San Diego. Tonight, the hometown hero finally gets to cross that milestone off his bucket list, taking the mound at Petco Park for the Nationals' series opener against the Padres. Of far greater concern to Strasburg and the Nats than the location of this outing: How well he pitches tonight after his fifth inning meltdown against the Cubs on Saturday.

The Nationals' struggling lineup could get a jolt with Bryce Harper back after missing the last two games following his collision with the fence in L.A. (He did come off the bench last night to pinch-hit late.) The Nats could certainly use their best hitter again, though of course only if he's healthy enough to perform at his peak level.

Speaking of health, Wilson Ramos has officially been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a recurrence of his hamstring strain. That means Kurt Suzuki will once again become the everyday catcher, with Jhonatan Solano returning from Class AAA Syracuse to serve as his backup.

I'm not on the West Coast, but I will be talking Nats tonight on the latest edition of "The Baseball Show" on CSN. Note the delayed 11:30 p.m. EDT start time, which should fall somewhere around the fifth or sixth inning of the Nats game…

WASHINGTON NATIONALS at SAN DIEGO PADRES
Where: Petco Park
Gametime: 10:10 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500), XM 186
Weather: Partly cloudy, 63 degrees, Wind 6 mph out to RF

NATIONALS (21-19)
CF Denard Span
2B Steve Lombardozzi
LF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman

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279 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    1 unearned run better than last time. Not sure why zim didnt take the easy out

  2. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    OK, now we can say it. We all knew Ryan Z was going to make some sort of an error with Strasburg pitching.To get out of that with only 1 unearned is huge. Seriously, Lombo saved at least 1 run there and probably 2.

  3. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    There was supposed to be a ;) after the "setting Strasbourg up" line… HehReally REALLY happy to see that. A win with that inning is EXACTLY what I want to see.

  4. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 3:45 AM

    the guy wasbt close to third 20 feet to 40 feet race.stras did han#le better. maybe things happen for a purpose.

  5. peric - May 17, 2013 at 3:48 AM

    I'm happy to see the 3,4,5 scoring when the 3-hole is still slumping … I will be very happy if I turn out to be wrong about the guy in the 5-hole. I like two home runs on 2 consecutive nights with some BB's thrown in. Now, if we can just get the table-setters to learn to walk more?

  6. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    What percent of Bernadina's struck balls make it to the outfield? Not very high percentage. Where has his drive gone?

  7. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    I'm not sure I've seen Bernadina hit a line drive into the outfield yet this year. He's had a couple of bloops fall in and several infield hits.

  8. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    MNF, Bernadina had that wrist injury in the WBC. Still healing.

  9. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 3:53 AM

    Harper isn't running well in left.

  10. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 3:54 AM

    stras way too many balls tonight.

  11. Harpo - May 17, 2013 at 3:54 AM

    That was Zimm's 1st defensive chance all night and has an error. That will bring him below .899 again on his fielding %.

  12. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    1 out man on third. We K a lot.Stras needs K batter.

  13. Harpo - May 17, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    Lombo has been impressive with 3 really good defensive plays. Still don't know how he jumped high enought to get Zimms bad throw.

  14. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    Let's add some runs please. Getting a bit nervous.

  15. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    Other teams understand situational hitter much better than we do.

  16. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    OK clean bases.5-2 = time to manufacture IMO

  17. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 4:00 AM

    Last 3 innings of games we have added nearly nothing all season. We rarely hitcrelievers no matter how bad they do against the rest of the keague.

  18. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    YEEEEEEEEEEES

  19. Steady Eddie - May 17, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Maybe harper isn't in all that much pain.

  20. RickH - May 17, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    BRYCE!!!

  21. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    WOW. That was KILLED.

  22. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Thats better. harper

  23. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Glad Davey listened to Bryce!

  24. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    Bud black should that zim for keeping him in the game.Had zim homered after check swing no way black not tossed. zim the swings at one way high.

  25. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    That HR by Bryce would be a HR in the old park configuration. That will make all the highlight reels tonight.

  26. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:07 AM

    Bryce must have a problem with his fielding glove. He has on a new glove.

  27. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 4:08 AM

    Lombardozzi fields well, but his throws have been a little scary. Just making that observation, not trying to extrapolate that to the Espi vs Lombo debate.

  28. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:09 AM

    Stras is getting some nifty "D" behind him except for the 1 error.

  29. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:13 AM

    Nice. 4 run lead…but 105+ count. Give him a shot at the 8th? Or, leave on positive note? I'm thinking the latter.

  30. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:15 AM

    David Proctor said… Lombardozzi fields well, but his throws have been a little scary. Just making that observation, not trying to extrapolate that to the Espi vs Lombo debate._______________________________One throw he took his time on? Tough crowd. He's been great on the defense tonight. His hitting has been better than Espi not like that's hard to do.

  31. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 4:16 AM

    I don't know. In front of his home town crowd, I kind of would like to see him go 8. I won't be upset either way.

  32. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:17 AM

    Looks like he's in… Good for you Stras!

  33. Steady Eddie - May 17, 2013 at 4:18 AM

    I would have said the same, Eric, but apparently there's no one up in the Nats' pen, Stras got no handshakes and has his jacket on… looks like he's at least starting the 8th. Interesting.Also FP just said Harper's dinger went 434 feet.

  34. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:21 AM

    Thank you Everth. 1 pitch. 1 out.

  35. Steady Eddie - May 17, 2013 at 4:22 AM

    Venable 3 pitch out, not too shabby.

  36. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    Another bad throw from Lombo. Thank god LaRoche saved it.

  37. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    Nice Stras! Congrats!!!Couldn't have happened in a better town for him.

  38. Steady Eddie - May 17, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    Much needed, and in his own hometown no less.117 pitches, 3H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4K.Well done, Stras. Win well earned.

  39. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP 26sYou could hear Ian Desmond's high five to Strasburg in the press box.

  40. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    Great gane and good body language for Stras.Nats need a run in the 9th.As I predicted 7-2 win to start.

  41. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    Yeah Lombo giving LaRoche the RZim workout tonight.

  42. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:26 AM

    OK David, that wasn't a great throw by Lombo but it didn't hit the dirt.

  43. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    Now all we need is a Chad Tracy HR with the Nats ahead by 4.

  44. Harpo - May 17, 2013 at 4:31 AM

    "Eric said… Yeah Lombo giving LaRoche the RZim workout tonight"You know what, cut the BS and don't start making stupid comparisons. There wasnt 1 baseball that Lombo threw that skipped on the dirt.He didn't exactly have pinpoint accuracy and I didn't think you give Zimm style points to everyone on throws.

  45. Harpo - May 17, 2013 at 4:32 AM

    Why wasn't Eury Perez in there pinch-running Davey?

  46. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    That is 24 strike out same as Harper. However 0 homer to 11 so Span strikes out to much for a non power hitter.

  47. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    Good point, where was Eury?

  48. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    Soriano hasn't had a save forever. Yet he's still 2nd in the NL in saves.

  49. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    OK Soriano… make it pedestrian.

  50. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:38 AM

    "You know what, cut the BS and don't start making stupid comparisons."Good God lighten up would ya? Maybe just for a day? Get a BP cuff and check yourself.

  51. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:38 AM

    Very inconsistent strike zone. That 2nd pitch has been a strike sometimes tonight.

  52. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 4:40 AM

    Even if Zimmerman catches that, the guy is safe. Before people call for his head.

  53. Harpo - May 17, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    Eric, I catch a lot of crap on here for being negative and I watch you guys making up stuff on Lombardozzi. One a ball skips on the dirt or Laroche has to do a ballet move off the bag then let me know.It was Lombo who went slam dunk high on the rim to catch and save Zimms throw.

  54. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    .5 behind

  55. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    Nice play by Lombardozzi. WE WIN!

  56. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:43 AM

    Web Gem by Lombo to save a run and finish the game!

  57. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:45 AM

    Huge win in many ways!

  58. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    "That 2nd pitch has been a strike sometimes tonight."Ha! Post of the thread. I'm with us all the way.Harpo if you really take me this seriously I don't know what to tell ya. It was a backhanded jab at Zim and a razz at Lombo for making me sweat.Lemme know if you need that BP cuff.

  59. ehay2k - May 17, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    Harpo, when Lombo throes from a shorter distance than Zim , and pulls AlR's glove hand into the oncoming runner, that's a bad throw. we got the win.

  60. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:49 AM

    Strasburg really redeemed himself. Collectively everyone said he was wrong and Stephen actually changed.It's kind of crazy that RZ makes an error in another Stras start and it immediately tested Stras to see how he would react and he reacted as a good teammate. Great to see although unforced errors are getting old.

  61. Harpo - May 17, 2013 at 4:52 AM

    Eric, Im down with it then. Just add a :) smiley winker face so I kno next time. Im trying to behave.

  62. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:52 AM

    Agreed that the unforced errors are getting old, but I really wanted to see Stras not just win, but to battle through imposed adversity along the way. He did that AND went deeper than ever before. Very encouraging!

  63. Gonat - May 17, 2013 at 4:53 AM

    Eric, also to see Harper mash a ball was a good sign.

  64. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    Harpo I'll try, but I'm very dry in real life. Best bet is to assume I'm being sarcastic and go from there ;).

  65. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 4:55 AM

    Yes Gonat for sure!

  66. NatsLady - May 17, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    I know it's not possible given his history, but it would be really nice if Stras just became a member of the rotation, without all the fanfare and scrutiny. He's gone eight innings. He pitched to contact, he walked some, gave up some doubles, etc. For any other pitcher that would be a B+ game. Yeah, he pitched through some minor adversity, but if Zim didn't have such great range that would have been a hit anyway. Good win. Let's get this baby pitcher tomorrow.

  67. David Proctor - May 17, 2013 at 4:58 AM

    8IP, 1ER, 4H would be a great performance for anybody, in my book.

  68. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 5:07 AM

    Hrm…Davey's response on Det is vague yet concerning…

  69. Drew - May 17, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    Bryce is 722 from Henry Aaron.

  70. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 5:08 AM

    "Found a little irregularity 'in there' gonna have a specialist look at it."

  71. NatsLady - May 17, 2013 at 5:13 AM

    I'm a tough grader. JZ has given some great performances, Kershaw has, so has Wainwright–talking about this year, even Gio, being in total control. Stras, very good, all that you could want, but not riveting. It will happen.

  72. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 5:16 AM

    "Zim didn't have such great range that would have been a hit anyway."Agreed… It's too bad the throw got away. I really think he'll get there though.

  73. Joe Seamhead - May 17, 2013 at 5:36 AM

    NatsLady said…I know it's not possible given his history, but it would be really nice if Stras just became a member of the rotation, without all the fanfare and scrutiny. He's gone eight innings. He pitched to contact, he walked some, gave up some doubles, etc. For any other pitcher that would be a B+ game. Yeah, he pitched through some minor adversity, but if Zim didn't have such great range that would have been a hit anyway. Good win. Let's get this baby pitcher tomorrow.May 17, 2013 12:57 AMR——————————-Most intelligent post of the day.

  74. Eric - May 17, 2013 at 5:43 AM

    I agree it would be great if he could just settle in as one of the starters. I think both going into the late innings and immediately quashing questions about his demeanor in the face of a bind will help.

  75. Secret wasian man - May 17, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Ya hoooooo. That's more like it.

  76. baseballswami - May 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Wow– a lot of you stayed up half the night. This stuff is a great way to wake up on a Friday. So happy Stras figured things out and the offense scored some runs. Unhappy about the injury news all around, though. DVR over diner today for some nice highlights.

  77. Manassas Nats' Fan - May 17, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    I made it through all 4 late games. 3 to go.

  78. Anna Peregrina - May 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    I've been setting my alarm to 5 a.m. (midnight Washington time) to catch the end of each game. Am missing most of the fireworks, though, so will watch the replay.

  79. Scott Margenau - May 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Everyone should buy Lombo a drink, he won this game as much as SS

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 78 14.5
NEW YORK 75 80 16.0
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 84 20.0
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's early games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 67 3.0
ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 70 6.5 +0.5
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
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