You have to love as a second place team when the team you are facing is struggling. The Washington Nationals see the Atlanta Braves fighting it out in a tough series out west but they could not get the job done today. A few things happened but the troubling part for the Nats was Stephen Strasburg. Technically he went five innings with zero earned runs but that isn’t the way the story went.
Errors are tough things to overcome sometimes but when Ryan Zimmerman committed a throwing error to extend the fifth inning, Strasburg should have been able to get out of it. The key hit of the inning and the game was in an at-bat by opposing pitcher Edwin Jackson. Someone that was throwing the ball as well as Strasburg was before the throwing error should have had no problem blowing it by Jackson. According to some coaches on the team, Strasburg has developed a tendency to lose focus in times like that.
Apparently he did because he needed almost the same amount of pitches to get through the fifth inning than he did the rest of the game before that. The Nationals have a ton of good pitching but Strasburg is supposed to be the main guy for them. He quite simply is not so far and this loss of focus in key moments appears to be as good of an explanation as anything. Whatever the case, Strasburg continues to be inconsistent at best and the Nationals now have to hope the Braves continue struggling in the finale against the Giants in order to gain first place this weekend.