With Stephen Strasburg on the mound, the Washington Nationals lineup erupted for 13 hits and six runs en route to helping their team's ace earn his second win of the season, and giving the club their eighth victory overall. In total, Strasburg gave up six hits, and two earned runs while striking out five batters, putting Washington in position to defeat the Houston Astros 6-3 at Nats Park
Steve Lombardozzi was the story at the plate in the Nats victory. The rookie infielder went 4-5 on the night, including one clutch single in the seventh inning which drove in the go ahead run. While the stat sheet says he was responsible for two runs batted in, he also helped Ian Desmond score early in the game with a beautiful drag bunt which forced a throwing error by Astros third baseman Chris Johnson. Lombardozzi was awarded the hit, but the extra bases for both runners were allotted to the E-5.
- Strasburg told the media following yesterday's win that he felt he was tipping his pitches to the Astros. Based one what I saw last night, I think he might be right. I noted to those I was watching the game with that after about the second inning it seemed that the usually elusive starter was having trouble putting any pitches past the Astros batters. There were several at bats where Houston was able to foul off multiple pitches until they found a fastball that they were able to drive somewhere. For the most part, he still was extremely effective on the mound yesterday, but you could tell that Houston was making a surprising amount of contact. This is what Strasburg told MLB.com's Bill Ladson:
"Typically, the hitters knows something a little different on some pitches, and they know it's coming," Strasburg said. "They feel very comfortable in there. That's something I have to look at on film. If I'm doing it, I know how to fix it. It could be anything. I do certain things every once in a while. The opposing team will pick up on it. I know what it is. I know how to fix it, so that is the bottom line."
- Ryan Zimmerman was finally able to find a couple of holes yesterday. The star third baseman went 2-4 with a walk and two RBI. Leading into the series with the Astros he was hitting just .179, despite absolutely mashing the ball in just about each of the team's 11 games so far this season. These stretches of bad luck, tend to happen for even the best hitters, but fortunately the baseball universe tends to even things out. Expect a good week from Zimmerman coming up.
- Catcher Wilson Ramos hit his first round tripper of the season, marking the first time he's hit a home run since his kidnapping this offseason. He also hit a warning track shot the following at bat which missed leaving the park by about eight feet.
- Each of the nine Nationals starters had at least one hit in the game, including Stephen Strasburg.
This Week's Fortune Teller:
We asked fans to predict what Strasburg's line would be prior to last night's game against the Astros. InmywhiteT was the winner.
@TheNatsBlog 6 ip, 4 k, 1 bb, 4 hits, 2 er— inmywhiteT (@inmywhiteT) April 16, 2012