Sep 15, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — There haven’t been a whole lot of encouraging developments for the Nationals over the last six weeks or so, but Stephen Strasburg certainly has been plenty encouraging of late. Tonight, the right-hander takes the mound at Citizens Bank Park hoping to continue his roll against a Phillies lineup that features journeyman Andres Blanco hitting cleanup.
The Nationals are going with the same lineup that scored eight runs last night, with Anthony Rendon still leading off and Jayson Werth still hitting cleanup behind Bryce Harper. That group will take its hacks against right-hander David Buchanan, owner of a 9.11 ERA.
Updates to come, so please check back…
WASHINGTON NATIONALS at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: 106.7 FM, 1500 AM, XM 183/869
Weather: Clear, 77 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF
2B Anthony Rendon
3B Yunel Escobar
RF Bryce Harper
LF Jayson Werth
1B Clint Robinson
SS Ian Desmond
C Wilson Ramos
CF Michael Taylor
RHP Stephen Strasburg
LF Darnell Sweeney
SS Freddy Galvis
CF Odubel Herrera
2B Andres Blanco
3B Cody Asche
1B Darin Ruf
RF Brian Bogusevic
C Carlos Ruiz
RHP David Buchanan
HP Todd Tichenor
1B Chris Segal
2B Mike Everitt
3B Tim Welke (cc)
7:05 p.m. — We are underway on a gorgeous September evening here in Philly. Nice sunset behind the downtown skyline in the distance as David Buchanan delivers his first pitch to Anthony Rendon.
7:27 p.m. — Wow, interesting first at-bat for Bryce Harper. Buchanan’s first-pitch fastball sailed behind Harper’s legs, leaving the slugger pausing to look at the right-hander in confusion. Can’t imagine that was intentional, but it certainly was way, way off-target. Buchanan’s third pitch, however, was a meatball down the middle, and Harper proceeded to launch it over the 409-foot sign in center field. That’s his 38th homer of the season (his seventh in his last 10-plus games) and it gives the Nats a 1-0 lead. Which Stephen Strasburg preserved after a scoreless bottom of the first that included a walk but two strikeouts.
7:42 p.m. — Two strong innings for Strasburg so far. He has thrown only 28 pitches and allowed only one ball to leave the infield. Good fastball-curveball combo going tonight. Still 1-0 Nats after two.
7:56 p.m. — Hmm, Strasburg seems to have something going on tonight. It’s only three innings so far, but he looks unhittable. Which he has been, allowing only a walk through three scoreless innings on 38 pitches. Still only one ball has left the infield. And the Nats lead 2-0 thanks to Yunel Escobar’s double and Harper’s run-scoring single up the middle. That’s Harper’s second RBI tonight, his 88th overall.
8:08 p.m. — Four hitless innings in the books for Strasburg, with six strikeouts and still only the one ball hit out of the infield. He’s on cruise control right now, his pitch count at 51. Still 2-0.
8:26 p.m. — Well, so much for Strasburg’s no-hitter. Cody Asche led off the fifth with a sharp single through the right side of the infield. Strasburg, though, still is dominating this lineup, striking out the side after that. He’s got nine strikeouts in five innings tonight, 22 strikeouts over his last 12 1/3 innings. Impressive. Still 2-0 Nats after five.
8:42 p.m. — Ho-hum, just another 1-2-3 inning for Strasburg. He’s through six innings of 1-hit, 1-walk ball, having now struck out 10 on 85 pitches. That said, the Nats haven’t done anything against Buchanan since Harper’s RBI single in the third. They’ve left themselves with a 2-0 lead, which isn’t exactly a huge cushion right now. To the seventh we go…
9:01 p.m. — Wow, Strasburg just struck out the side on 10 pitches in the seventh inning. That’s back-to-back 13-strikeout starts for him, one shy of his career high. He’s at 95 pitches, so certainly a chance for him to come back out for the eighth. Still 2-0 Nats.
9:24 p.m. — Man, what a night for the Nationals’ two No. 1 draft picks. Harper just homered for the second time tonight, the 8th time in 11 games, the 39th time this season. And Strasburg just notched his 14th strikeout, matching his career-high. He’s through eight innings of 1-hit, 1-walk, 14-strikeout ball, sitting on 105 pitches. Nats up 4-0 after eight.
9:37 p.m. — No complete game tonight for Strasburg. It’ll be Blake Treinen for the ninth, with the Nats still up 4-0.
9:41 p.m. — Ballgame. Nats win 4-0. It was the Strasburg and Harper Show here in Philly.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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