If there were any concerns that Stephen Strasburg was slowing down or had been figured out after a
recent home loss to Philadelphia, those worries can be put to rest for this week.
Strasburg bounced back from his shortest outing of the season against the Phillies (four innings) to
post six innings of shutout ball against the Miami Marlins. The Nationals ended up taking three of four
from the Marlins after a 4-1 victory Sunday.
It was his first win at home since June 20.
Strasburg allowed one walk and one double, but only two other singles, and struck out six. His innings
total for the season moved to 127 1/3.
And to get the offense off and running, Strasburg helped his cause with a two-run single in the second
inning. He is now hitting .343 (12-for-35) with seven RBI.
But on only 91 pitches, Strasburg got back to the basics. Even on an 89-degree day in D.C., in heat that
usually bothers him, he was efficient and determined. He wasn't fastball-happy on this day. But he did stay
with the basics that always work for him.
"Just pound the strike zone," Strasburg said. "Sometimes you are going to give up some hits and
sometimes you are not. I think I started commanding the fastball a little better as the game went on. The
four days in between felt like a long time. I was just trying not to overanalyze everything and just move
After getting roughed up by the Phillies on July 31, Strasburg did not consider altering his strategy
against the Marlins.
"I didn't really change anything," Strasburg said. "I just wanted to go out there and be little bit more
on top of my game and really attack the strike zone a little bit better.
Manager Davey Johnson said he was able to exhale a bit after this one because Strasburg of 2011 came out
in his game Sunday.
"That was more like it," Johnson said. "That was more reminiscent of last year. He pitched a great ball
game. That low pitch count he could have gone seven (innings) easy, except I know he has a little trouble
on hot days."
Strasburg used his fastball to strike out 11 Mets on July 25, but then relied on it too much against the
Phillies, and they responded with eight hits and six runs.
This time, Strasburg mixed it up and confused the Marlins again.
"He is learning about himself and learning about the league," Johnson said. "It is a process they go
through. He had a good game plan and stuck to it. That is the learning curve. You get comfortable with who
you are facing and what their strengths are, and you are not as anxious."
That should be scary enough for opposing hitters. Strasburg is good now. Imagine when he learns the
hitters. That could be a horror show.
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