Aug 19, 2014, 3:30 PM EST
There have been only three winning streaks of at least eight games in Nationals history (a 10-gamer in June 2005, an 8-gamer in June 2011 and another 8-gamer in August 2012). So tonight, they’ll go for their fourth such streak over the last 10 seasons, trying to beat the Diamondbacks again (though perhaps not in extra innings, for a change).
Given the beat-up nature of their bullpen, the Nationals desperately need innings tonight from Stephen Strasburg. He has gone at least seven innings 12 times in 26 starts this season (eight times in 13 starts at home) so he would appear to be in a good position to do that tonight.
Right-hander Chase Anderson gets the ball for Arizona. Updates to come…
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183, MLB.com
Weather: Partly cloudy, 84 degrees, Wind 9 mph LF to RF
CF Denard Span
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Jayson Werth
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
LF Bryce Harper
2B Asdrubal Cabrera
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Stephen Strasburg
CF Ender Inciarte
2B Aaron Hill
RF David Peralta
LF Mark Trumbo
C Miguel Montero
1B Jordan Pacheco
3B Jake Lamb
SS Didi Gregorius
RHP Chase Anderson
HP John Tumpane
1B Bill Welke
2B James Hoye
3B Bob Davidson (cc)
7:07 p.m. — And we’re underway as Stephen Strasburg delivers strike one to Ender Inciarte.
7:14 p.m. — And just like that, the Nats are down 1-0. David Peralta, who homered off Tyler Clippard in the ninth inning last night, did to Strasburg in the first inning tonight, hammering a 2-2 fastball to right-center. It was 96 mph and on a platter. That’s the 19th homer allowed by Strasburg this season, the 14th off a fastball.
7:28 p.m. — Nothing on the board for the Nats in the bottom of the first, but Denard Span did draw a leadoff walk. So, after going three straight games without reaching base on the heels of his 36-game streak, he has now reached base in nine of his last 20 plate appearances. Not bad. Unfortunately, despite three well-struck balls by Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche, Span never advanced beyond first base. 1-0 D’backs after one.
7:52 p.m. — The Nats tried to get something going in the bottom of the second, getting a single from Ian Desmond and a 1-out walk from Asdrubal Cabrera. But they again couldn’t advance any runners. Bryce Harper and Jose Lobaton struck out. Strasburg nearly helped his own cause with a drive to right field, but Peralta tracked it down, leaving this a 1-0 game heading to the third.
8:30 p.m. — It’s not 1-0 anymore. The Nats exploded for six runs in the bottom of the third, driving Anderson from the game and plating all six runs before making even one out in the inning. The big hits: Werth’s RBI single to center, Desmond’s 2-run single to left and Cabrera’s 3-run double to right-center off reliever Eury de la Rosa. Just like that, the Nats have opened up a big lead for Strasburg. It’s 6-1 heading to the fourth.
8:40 p.m. — Strasburg, meanwhile, is through four innings on 49 pitches. He’s doing exactly what the Nats need him to do tonight with a taxed bullpen.
8:51 p.m. — Make it five innings on 58 pitches.
9:29 p.m. — Chase here taking over for Mark, as he begins his game story. We are now in the seventh inning stretch with the Nationals up 8-1. They added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth on a Desmond 2-RBI single. That gave him four RBI on the night and 77 on the season. He is now three away from tying the career-high of 80 he set in 2013. Strasburg, by the way, is now at 197 strikeouts on the year. That ties his career-high from 2012. Up next is the bottom of the seventh with Cabrera set to lead off.
9:37 p.m. — The bottom of the seventh was a quiet inning for the Nats, as Cabrera, Lobaton and Strasburg went down in order. Strasburg will now head out for the eighth inning having thrown 85 pitches through seven. We’ll see if he can go the distance in this one.
9:52 p.m. — Looks like Strasburg will not get a shot at a complete game, as Jerry Blevins is now in to pitch to the top of the ninth with an 8-1 lead. Nats looking to close this one out and make it eight straight.
10:00 p.m. — Blevins goes 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth and the Nats beat the D-Backs for their 8th consecutive win. Final score is 8-1.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
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.
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