The Washington Nationals (33-29) are hotter than they’ve been all season, and they were headed into a buzzsaw that was the San Francisco Giants (42-22), who have the best recording in Major League Baseball. However, it was the Nats who proved to be the dominant ones on Monday evening behind another stellar effort from Stephen Strasburg in a 9-2 victory out west.
Anyone that says hitting isn’t contagious hasn’t watched this Nats team over the last two weeks. Six out of eight position players got on the board with at least one hit, and four of those guys had extra base hits. Denard Span and Ian Desmond were 3-for-5 while Wilson Ramos and Jayson Werth for 2-for-4.
The Nats jumped all over Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong and scored four runs in the first three innings to give their ace Strasburg an early cushion. Vogelsong did end up going six plus innings, but got himself into trouble by taking the mound in the seventh. He gave up back to back hits to Span and Kevin Frandsen to start the inning and was pulled in favor of reliever George Kontos.
The rest of the seventh inning would essentially end the chances of a San Francisco rally. Werth, Ramos, and Desmond all added to their hit totals, Adam LaRoche walked, and by the time the inning ended, the Nats put up five more runs and extending their lead to 9-1.
Strasburg had yet another stellar outing. He allowed just one earned run over six innings of work. He struck out seven and had another outing without any walks. He lowered his ERA to 2.99, and now leads the league with 2.6 WAR, 2.29 FIP, and 11.13 K/9. Quite simply, he is the best pitcher in the National League by most every metric. He did leave the game after six innings, because according to Dan Kolko, he has some minor back tightness tonight.
Stephen Strasburg had some minor back tightness tonight, per MW. Nats chose to get him out after 6 as a precaution after breaking it open
— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) June 10, 2014
Aaron Barrett made quick work in the seventh, and Ross Detwiler pitched the final two innings. Detwiler had trouble in the eighth giving up three consecutive singles with one out in the inning and giving up a single run, but he pitched well in the ninth to get three ground ball outs and preserve the Nationals dominant 9-2 win.
- Michael Morse was dominated by Strasburg in two at bats and plunked by Barrett before being double switched out of the game in the top of the eighth.
All statistics from Fangraphs. Photo courtesy AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach.