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MLB Washington Nationals

Stephen Strasburg Struggles Out of the Gate as Washington Nationals Fall

The Washington Nationals started the season of as one of the best teams in the entire Major League Baseball, but have fallen off as of late. The Nationals move to 3-9 over their last 12 games with the loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon, 4-2.

Stephen Strasburg has been tabbed as the Nationals’ ace since his debut in 2010. However, he is not his normal dominant self in 2013. Coming into Wednesday afternoon, Strasburg was had posted a 1-3 record with a 2.96 ERA and 21 strikeouts over 24.1 innings. His record and ERA do not match up and could be based solely on the team’s lack of offensive help when the 24-year-old is on the mound.

On Wednesday afternoon, Strasburg surrendered three earned runs in the first inning on three hits and a walk. After a shaky start, the Nationals were in a hole and needed their offense to kick in. Their ace was able to keep them in the game, tossing six more innings, allowing on two hits and striking out seven. However, his teammates were only able to tally two runs, which wasn’t enough.

Strasburg moves to 1-4 on the season with a 3.16 ERA, which is not a great record for a top-tier pitcher. If the Nationals want to contend for a World Series, their offense is going to need to come back alive and give their pitching staff some run support. Someone other than Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper needs to step up to the plate.

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