Strasburg racks up 15 Ks in Nationals 3-0 win

Geoff Burke—X02835
May 27

WASHINGTON — Stephen Strasburg entered this season with the goal of going
deeper into games and limiting his pitch count, with an objective of getting
quick outs on groundballs.With that in mind he now throws out of the stretch all of time, hoping to
repeat his delivery and be around late in the game.While the goals remain the same, the right-hander kept ringing up the
strikeouts on Saturday, finishing with a career-high 15 punchouts in just seven
innings while allowing three hits in a 3-0 victory by the first-place Washington
Nationals over his hometown San Diego Padres.”I can’t really worry about whether they are going to put (the ball) in
play or not,” said Strasburg, who threw 108 pitches. “I’m trying to make pitches
and attack the strike zone.”The outing was even more impressive as Strasburg escaped a bases-loaded jam
in the first inning and needed 27 pitches to get the first three outs.”You have to keep grinding,” he said. “Obviously if another inning or two
happens like that again I wouldn’t be able to go as deep.”The hapless, last-place Padres have now collected just six hits while
fanning 28 times the last two days. It was the first shutout of the season for
the Washington pitching staff, which now has a 4.15 team ERA a day after starter
Max Scherzer fanned 13 batters and also gave up just three hits.”I mean they’re two really good pitchers,” said San Diego second baseman
Cory Spangenberg, who was 0-for-3. “You can’t take them for granted. When you do
get your pitch against these two guys you can’t be fouling it back like we have.
You need to be able to hit those ones. We’ve been a hit or two away each night
so just got to keep on going and hopefully those hits come.”Strasburg (6-1) fanned 14 batters in his major league debut in 2010 against
the Pittsburgh Pirates and again in 2015 at the Philadelphia Phillies.Matt Albers pitched a perfect eighth for the Nationals and Koda Glover
worked the ninth for his fifth save.Strasburg also scored the first run. He led off the third inning with a
single and went to third on a double by Jayson Werth.Bryce Harper then hit a grounder with one out to first baseman Yangervis
Solarte, who instead of trying to get the out at first threw home while sprawled
on the ground. Strasburg scored as Harper reached on a fielder’s choice.Washington’s Michael A. Taylor added some insurance as he blasted a two-run
homer off starter Clayton Richard (3-6) in the sixth to make it 3-0.”Unfortunately it’s a different game if I execute pitches there in the
sixth. Going into the seventh, eighth, and ninth down one run is a lot different
than down three so it’s disappointing to have not executed there to keep us a
little closer,” Richard said.Taylor has four homers in his last 14 games, and Richard allowed three runs
and 10 hits in six innings.”I’m looking for my pitch and staying in my zone,” Taylor said. “I’m not
trying to do too much.”Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon and Taylor had two hits each for Washington.Wil Myers was not in the starting lineup for the second day in a row for
the Padres, as Solarte made the start at first. Myers is hitting .265 with 11
homers but is 6-for-35 of late.San Diego manager Andy Green said Myers was available to pinch-hit but the
right time didn’t materialize.”We had him on the ropes in the first inning,” Green said of Strasburg. “We
weren’t able to cash in on it. You are not going to win baseball games punching
out that much.”NOTES: Washington 2B Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup because of
illness, according to bench coach Chris Speier. Murphy did not play Friday. …
Speier is filling in this weekend for manager Dusty Baker, who attended the high
school graduation of his son, Darren, on Saturday in California. … The Padres
brought up OF Franchy Cordero from Triple-A El Paso and sent OF Manuel Margot to
the 10-day disabled list with a strained right calf. Cordero pinch-hit with two
outs in the seventh inning and struck out swinging at 95 mph fastball in his
major league debut. … Washington RF Bryce Harper made news off the field. He
was one of several Washington players who headed out to youth baseball games
Saturday morning before the Nationals played at 4:05 ET against the Padres.
Harper, according to The Washington Post, told young players in the northwest
quadrant of the nation’s capital: “No participation trophies, OK? First place
only.” … Washington RHP Joe Ross (2-0, 5.32 ERA), a former minor leaguer with
the Padres, will face San Diego RHP Jhoulys Chacon (4-4, 5.74) on Sunday.The Sports Xchange