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Strasburg pitches well despite extreme heat

Jul 20, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today
Despite four days off and a chance to start the season anew after the All-Star break, the Nationals came away with an all too familiar result on Friday night. They got runners in scoring position before blowing chances and ended innings in the most frustrating of fashions.
Stephen Strasburg certainly did his job, regardless of the result, pitching seven strong innings with two earned runs off seven hits. The hits came early as Strasburg retired 11 consecutive batters before getting the hook.
The right-hander battled temperatures that rivaled his pitch speeds and a heat index of 105. And with a history of faltering in hot conditions, Strasburg pulled through and gave his team a chance to win.
“I always just try and drink a lot of fluids and stuff, do as much as you can,” he said. "When I flew in from San Diego on Wednesday I saw it was 95 at like 11 o’clock at night so I knew it was going to be interesting.”

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  1. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    If Stras has so much trouble with perspiration, why doesn't he wear a sleeve?

  3. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    Strasburg is not a problem. I am impressed with Matt Harvey's presence, his unflappability. He reminds me of our own bulldog, Jordan Zimmerman. His edge over Strasburg, IMO, is mostly due to mental toughness. Strasburg is still evolving. He is already getting better, in that regard. Another advantage Harvey has over Steven are his short arms. It is much easier for Harvey to retain his command for reasons of basic physics. Steven's length means any deviation in his release point is amplified by the length of his arms. If you play golf, you know that the tall, long guys are much more inconsistent than the short guys with short arms, because any error in the tall guys' swing planes is amplified by the length of their swing. Stras has to be more consistent and precise in his release point than Harvey. It will take work, but Steven is still only 24.

  4. Joe Seamhead - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    I thought Stras gave a super effort last night. The two throws that Puig made were Ankiel-like. Harper should've been called out on the one. To see that throw from my seat was a thing of baseball beauty!

  5. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Considering all things… Yeah SS did a great job last night… Dodgers were hitting off him early but he kept his composure and go thru it… Just gave up the 2 run hr… I can't remember, did he walk the first batter there?But anyways, pitching, once again, isn't why we lost… We can't keep scraping for runs…. Nats sole issue is offense…I'm going to the game tonight… And I hope we crank it a win…I will never understand why we have issues with junk throwers…

  6. realdealnats - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    I like moving forward with these guys and this organization. We need a crazy bat, and now it appears we need to shore up the back end of the rotation. None of this is going to get done the right way by desperate moves at the deadline or even in August. Keep the farm system regenerating. Keep Rizzo making his moves–most of them good–let Stras develop into the super special kind of pitcher he might very well be capable, with the patient understanding that he might take a bit longer like a Koufax or a Randy Johnson or a Nolan Ryan–not saying he will necessarily be that great–but I'm speaking of pitchers who were real got and got even better but took time. Maybe this isn't our year. But teams that build to always be in contention will get their shots. It's not always clear what year luck/physics/chemistry will shine, but it will. And for those who say that's why we should've kept Stras pitching last year–not true. Not my point. It was our year, true, but it might have ruined or set his arm/shoulder back. And the type of 20/20 hindsight that imagines he was going to pitch in stellar fashion for all those games to win our surprise world series, really have no idea how he would have pitched. And where would we be now w/o a WS crown from last year and a Stras with a 5.68 ERA this year with shoulder soreness. So stay the course. Rendon for Espi is good. Look for that bat and a number 4 or 5 over the off season, wait for the young arms to develop in the next couple years to back up the rotation from within and just enjoy the ride. It seems to me that's how they do it in St Louis and San Francisco etc. Pick you game plan and keep on building it.

  7. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    To console myself, I perused the Nats minor league games from last night, and the DSL Nats beat the DSL Orioles, and the GCL Nats beat the GCL Mets last night, and are beating them again, today.Corey Brown sat out for about a week, and returned with a vengeance. He's 5 for his last 8, with 2 HRs and a double. He came back from a month on the DL earlier this year and went on a similar tear for about a week, and then fell off a cliff. I am beginning to suspect that he has a recurring physical problem which requires some rest to heal. Usually when a guy sits out, he needs time to regain his timing and rhythm. With Brown, it has been precisely the opposite – 2 for 5 day before yesterday (2 dingers), and 3 for 3 last night ( one double). Very, very strange.Steven Souza keeps pounding the ball at Harrisburg. Another HR last night. And Tyler Moore is getting his mojo back at Syracuse. Billy Burns keeps getting on base at a .400+ clip, and has stolen 45 bases in 49 attempts. He has taken over in CF, sending Michael Taylor to play corner OF at Potomac.Drew Ward is knocking the cover off the ball in the GCL, and a 19-year-old kid from the Dominican Republic is hitting around .370 while playing 2nd base there.Well, that cheered me up, a little. Oh, and Matt Purke got clobbered last night, so the news isn't all good.

  8. realdealnats - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    And don't be afraid of spending money to get specific talent that fits the plan as long as you understand you cant' simply buy a World Series. Usually. Or the way I like to win one.

  9. NatsLady - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Interesting post from a Reds blogger. 21 runs in 10 games, three shutouts. Whew, I had not been paying attention…At the tail end of the Reds' 4-8 slide, Reds' beat reporter for The Cincinnati Enquirer, John Fay, gave a one-word Twitter answer of "No" about whether or not Morse is a realistic trade target for the Reds. Reds' Country had better hope that Fay is dead wrong because if the Reds don't address the issues at the plate, the pitching side of the equation won't matter much. The Reds scored just 32 runs during the 4-8 stretch, but 11 of those runs were scored in two games. Otherwise the anemic Reds offense scored a mere 21 runs in 10 games that included three shutouts against them. Waiting for the return of injured cleanup hitter Ryan Ludwick to maybe return by mid-August simply won't do.http://sports.yahoo.com/news/cincinnati-reds-show-michael-morse-seattle-mariners-needed-150400089.html

  10. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Seems like it's not just us NL…

  11. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Lots of inconsistent teams this year. Even more reason why it's not possible to predict how things will turn out. Our division is a puzzle. Anything can happen.

  12. mick - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    Look at the Red Sox for comfort, last season they were awful with high expectations, this year they have 59 wins. why can't that be the Nats in 2014? Plus, the Red Sox's issue was pitching in 2012, wee already have pitching so a turn around should take less moves than what the Sox's did

  13. Ron In Reston - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record (that was before CDs, which was before MP3s for you youngsters out there ;) )….but never, ever, ever, ever and ESPECIALLY with an offense-challenged team. EVER put your closer in in a tie game unless it's the 17th inning and no one is left.Ever.And I have said this before when it was Storen, and when it was Lidge, and when it was Capps or Hanrahan or even The Chief….hence the broken record thing.That is all. I will not comment on the 4th inning, there are no words. At least not any that Mark will allow to stay up to be read :)

  14. Get Your Re(n)d On - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    "Ron In Reston said… At the risk of sounding like a broken record (that was before CDs, which was before MP3s for you youngsters out there ;) )….but never, ever, ever, ever and ESPECIALLY with an offense-challenged team. EVER put your closer in in a tie game unless it's the 17th inning and no one is left. Ever."Why? Playing at home in a tie game that goes past the eighth inning there is never going to be a save opportunity, even in the 17th inning when no one is left. What's the reason you would arbitrarily refuse to use a reliever who is probably one of your best in a game like that? It would be like playing with one hand tied behind your back.

  15. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Is the Nats organization going forward or regressing? If going forward then I have to be patient. I think it is. Positive changes this season, minors doing well– we'll have to see how it goes with a new manager. I don't see our talent as mediocre, just everything went so well last year. Young team, still learning- they obviously needed some adversity to grow. Here it is. Keep moving forward — I want this organization to become a force every single season. Maybe we needed a season on pause before we can go where we want to be. Unfinished development. I hope they name a new manager early so that they can have a really effective spring training.

  16. alexva - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    swami – "just everything went so well last year"you can say that again

  17. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Unnaturally so. I think we skipped some steps in the learning process. Have to go back a step– that whole standing up to adversity thing seems to be kicking our butts. Cannot pass go without it. In jail and losing a turn right now.

  18. Get Your Re(n)d On - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    There are certain immutable truths to life. A watched pot never boils. A watched microwave never dings. A watched flower never blooms. And a team that's forced to play every pitch, every at bat, every inning and every game under intense scrutiny for signs of The Turnaround is not going to turn it around.

  19. 3on2out - Jul 20, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    realdealnats @ 12:27:I am with you, my brother.

  20. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Just win baby. I don't care how. Losing is not an option

  21. SCNatsFan - Jul 20, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    On a bright note there is a 50% chance we win tonight

  22. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Think Greinke will plunk someone? After all, it's been days since the Dodgers have started a dust up with another team. They must be bored to tears.

  23. Secret wasian man - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    The decision to put Sorry on oh was a good one. He just failed.

  24. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Plunk Davey to wake him up.

  25. Manassas Nats' Fan - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    I must not be in your inner circle, I don't comprehend the comment.

  26. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Charlie Manuel pulls Hamels after the 5th as Phillies are down 4-2.

  27. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Tracy back starting again….Same lineup with new pitcher…Span 8, Rendon 4, Zimmerman 5, Harper 7, Werth 9, Desmond 6, Tracy 3, Ramos 2, Gonzalez 1

  28. baseballswami - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    Hey- how about that Greinke/ Tracy match up? Should be epic, right?

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