Stephen Strasburg held the San Francisco Giants to one run on three hits in six innings Friday night en route to earning his third win of his career and giving the Washington Nationals an 8-1 victory.
After allowing a home run to the Giants lead off batter Andres Torres, Strasburg settled down by not allowing a hit to the next 12 batters he faced. In total the rookie right-hander who was calling his own pitches for the first time struck out eight batters, forced 11 swinging strikes, and allowed only one walk in 95 pitches.
The rookie phenom is now 3-2 with a 2.32 ERA and an astounding 61 strikeouts to only 11 walks in his first seven starts.
Run support, however, was the name of the game Friday night as Washington finally supported their starting pitcher. Most of it came from one man, arguably the hottest hitter in baseball Adam Dunn.
Dunn went three-for-four on the night with two homers and a double, earning a collective 10 total bases with three RBI and three runs scored. The Big Donkey has now raised his batting average to .285 with 22 homers and 58 RBI…all before the All-Star break. The slugging first baseman is seven for his last 12 with five homers and nine RBI in that span.
Nyjer Morgan, Wil Nieves, and Willie Harris also helped out at the plate as the previously struggling trio combined to go 7-13 with four RBI. Cristian Guzman, shockingly walked twice in the winning effort, bringing his season walk total to 16, matching the total he had last season.
Sean Burnett, Drew Storen, and Joel Peralta each pitched a scoreless frame combining to allow only one baserunner and to strike out three.
As you can see, despite Strasburg’s dominance the Win Probability didn’t tip in the Nats favor exponentially until Dunn’s home run(s). Strasburg (.280) however was still the most valuable player of the game according to WPA, by not allowing the Giants to earn any Win Probability momentum.
Despite going 2-5, Morgan had a -.067 WPA, and Zimmerman, who went 0-4, had a -.091 WPA.