MLB Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals Ace Unable to Top Cincinnati Reds


Frank Victores – USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds were supposed to be in for a pitching duel on Sunday afternoon because Stephen Strasburg and Johnny Queto were on the mound. However, it did not work out that way, as the Reds defeated the Nationals, 6-3, at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio.

After a great opening day for Strasburg last week, he would likely be happy to forget Sunday afternoon’s game. The Nationals’ starting pitcher surrendered six runs on nine hits over 5.1 innings and was the losing pitcher of record.

Last season, Strasburg posted a 15-6 record with a 3.16 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 197 strike outs over 159.1 innings, in his inning restricted season with the Nationals. He was pitching well enough to stay in the starting rotation, but coming back from Tommy John surgery, the Nationals had a plan to restrict his innings and stuck to it.

One of the moments during Sunday afternoon’s loss Strasburg will remember for a long time is the change up he threw to Joey Votto. In the second inning with the two runners on base and two outs, Votto fouled off the first 1-2 change up Strasburg threw. He tried another, this time the pitched started over the outside edge of the plate and darted out of the box. The ball faded away from the All-Star first basemen at 88 mph and he swung weakly at it. Missing the ball, Votto walked to the dugout muttering and shaking his head.

Strasburg won’t have many games like Sunday afternoon’s game this season. This may be a season where the 24-year-old wins his first Cy Young award and pitches in the postseason. The youngster will have to put this game in the rear view mirror and move on.


Justin Soderberg is a Boston Red Sox writer for Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.