There was no joy in Mudville...the Mighty Stras was proven mortal...well...sort of. The Nats' Bats were silent last night for their phenom, rookie pitcher. Despite the nine hits Stephen Strasburg allowed, he gave up just 1 ER in 6 innings of work. With the likes of Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham, Ryan Zimmerman, Nyjer Morgan, and Ivan Rodriguez (Pudge) they couldn't put together 2 measely runs in order to preserve mystique around their team. Well, it was bound to happen.
Game 4 Stats:
95 PC (a staggering 75 for strikes)
Still far from a poor or even pedestrian performance. Even Ubaldo Jimenez yielded 6 runs in the very same night.
Fact of the matter is that the Nationals are still not that good of a team. They have the tools and the talent, but the winning way still eludes them as evidenced by the poor base running last night which could've save Stras the loss. Sure they have pitching issues beyond their control with Scott Olsen, Chien-Ming Wang, and the Jordan Zimmermann (other Zimmermann) on the DL. However, if the bats are silent no amount ace level pitching will suffice.
Despite the loss Strasburg continues to set records. In his 3rd game he set an MLB record for most strikeouts in his first three starts (32), breaking the record set by J.R. Richard in 1971, who struck out 29 in his first three starts. In his 4th start, he broke the MLB record for most strikeouts in 4 game (41) previously held all the way back in 1955 by Herb Score. This game marked his 3rd in 4 games of not yielding any walks in a game. He also had his 1st career MLB base hit too.
His performance over the last 4 games is amazing:
41 Ks (14.58K/9I)
5 walks (still)
1.776ERA (4 ER)
4 hits allowed (2 HR)
251 strikes (67.8% pitches thrown for strikes)
His numbers only seem to be improving for the most part. The law of averages necessitates his ERA and WHIP to continue upward, but his raw stats continue to flourish. Disappointed with the loss though many of us are, it comes with the territory. It's not his fault. Is he supposed to hold off evey major league batter for 9-12 solid innings until his lineup comes to life? Hardly. I'm reminded of Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay playing for low scoring teams to start their careers too. I think that despite that, Stras will OK. Better than OK.