Washington at New York

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Washington (4-2) «010000111491
N.Y. Mets (4-2)000000000030

Strasburg outpitches Santana, foils Mets

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Stephen Strasburg wants to be treated like one of the guys: with no limits on his pitching.

The 23-year-old phenom got his wish Wednesday.

The Washington Nationals let their young ace go past 100 pitches for the first time in the major leagues and he worked his way out of a two-on, one out jam in the sixth inning of a one-run ballgame Wednesday.

"I was going to hold him to 100 pitches but I didn't know who to go to to get out of the jam," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said after a 4-0 victory over the New York Mets. "I probably would've had to strangle him to get the ball to get him out of the game."

Strasburg threw 108 pitches in outlasting Johan Santana for six innings in a marquee matchup of aces on the mend, and the Nationals' bullpen made the lead stand up on the 50th anniversary of the Mets' first game.

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Meeting in a blustery, chilly matinee, Strasburg (1-0) and Santana got off to an erratic start but settled into a duel between pitchers coming back from major arm operations.

Strasburg allowed two hits and struck out nine in helping the Nationals take the final two games of the three-game series against their division rival with stellar pitching -- Ross Detwiler shut down the Mets on Tuesday night.

Strasburg threw 99 pitches in his eighth big league start in July 2010, when his callup to the big leagues captivated baseball, but he had elbow ligament-replacement surgery two months later and missed almost all of 2011. He is being kept on an innings limit of about 160 this season.

"By no means in the back of my head was I thinking, `How many pitches was I at?"' he said. I wanted to go out there and keep the team in the ballgame as long as I could."

Santana (0-1) allowed five hits in five-plus innings but his wild pitch gave Washington a 1-0 lead in the second inning of a game that lasted 3 hours, 36 minutes. New York had only three hits and Mets pitchers combined to walk 10 and hit one batter.

Ryan Mattheus, Sean Burnett and Henry Rodriguez each pitched a scoreless inning for a Nationals' bullpen that is without closer Drew Storen (elbow).

New York's bullpen gave up two bases-loaded walks and an RBI grounder to Chad Tracy in the eighth. By that time, much of the announced crowd of 34,614 had left.

The 33-year-old Santana, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, was making just his second start in 19 months after left shoulder surgery. His operation was about two weeks after Strasburg's in September 2010.

Santana's fastball was clocked at about the same speed (a high of 90 mph, reached once) as the 23-year-old phenom's changeup (89 mph). Strasburg's fastball peaked at 98 mph.

Strasburg gave up a single to his first batter, Ruben Tejada, and walked Daniel Murphy in a frustrating 26-pitch first inning. After starting the second with a walk, he found better command of his curveball and went on a run of retiring 10 in a row until hitting Ronny Cedeno with a pitch with one out in the fifth.

"I was really concerned early because he was pitching backward. He was using a lot of changeups, back-to-back changeups, curveballs, even cutting his fastball," Johnson said. "He got straightened out in the third inning and started pitching like he can."

Said Strasburg: "I have four out pitches. It's just a matter of commanding them."

Ike Davis singled in the sixth to end an 0-for-18 start. That was just the second hit for the Mets, who wore their white uniforms instead of their traditional pinstripes for the anniversary game.

Santana needed 27 pitches to get through the first. In the second, he bounced a slider in front of the plate that went to the backstop, allowing Mark DeRosa to score. DeRosa singled leading off the inning and had gone to third on Xavier Nady's single to right.

Santana retired nine in a row, striking out four straight at one point before allowing back-to-back hits in the fifth.

"I'm very happy at this stage," Mets manager Terry Collins said, "and five days from now you'll see him again."

Despite having thrown 93 pitches through five innings, Santana was allowed to bat with a runner on first and one out. He struck out.

Santana then walked Jayson Werth with his 99th pitch -- 56 were strikes -- leading off the sixth. He was lifted for Manny Acosta.

"I was able to compete and I feel good," Santana said. "I told [Collins] I felt good and he let me go back out there. I didn't come through, but at least I was able to warm up and come back out again. So that's a good sign."

Notes

  • Roger Craig threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Craig started the Mets' opener in 1962 at St. Louis, an 11-4 loss.
  • Collins was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Larry Vanover in the seventh inning.
  • The Mets drew 197,672 for their first homestand this year, up from 184,429 for their first six home games last year.
  • Johnson had no new information on Storen (elbow) and slugger Michael Morse (back). He said tests on Morse, who had a setback in a minor league rehab game, were sent to Dr. James Andrews. Storen's agent says the pitcher had surgery to remove a bone fragment from his pitching elbow. Agent Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports said Wednesday's procedure went as expected.
  • Collins said he wouldn't be surprised to see 3B David Wright (broken pinkie finger) in the lineup Friday.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Stephen Strasburg dominates during six scoreless innings as he holds the Mets to just two hits while striking out nine. (Getty Images)
Stephen Strasburg dominates during six scoreless innings as he holds the Mets to just two hits while striking out nine. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Washington

S. Strasburg
IP 6.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 3
K 9
Washington

M. DeRosa
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Desmond, SS5120023 .370
Danny Espinosa, 2B3010211 .211
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4110123 .227
Jayson Werth, CF-RF3010113 .273
Mark DeRosa, LF2111300 .077
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000117 .333
Xavier Nady, RF5120013 .267
    Henry Rodriguez, P0000000 .000
Jesus Flores, C3011202 .429
Stephen Strasburg, P2000023 .000
   a- Stephen Lombardozzi, PH1000000 .333
    Ryan Mattheus, P0000000 .000
   b- Chad Tracy, PH1001000 .333
    Sean Burnett, P0000000 .000
   c- Brett Carroll, PH-CF1000003 .000
Totals344931010  
a-grounded out for Strasburg in the 7th
b-grounded out for Mattheus in the 8th
c-flied out for Burnett in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ian Desmond (2, Acosta)
RBI - Mark DeRosa (1), Jesus Flores (1), Chad Tracy (3)
2-OUT RBI - Mark DeRosa (1), Jesus Flores (1)
SB - Xavier Nady (1, 2nd base off Ramirez/Thole)
CS - Danny Espinosa (1, 3rd base by Santana/Thole)
Team LOB - 14
Fielding
E - Danny Espinosa (2, Throwing)
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Stephen Strasburg (W,1-0) 6200390 0.69
Ryan Mattheus (H,1) 1000120 7.71
Sean Burnett (H,2) 1100020 0.00
Henry Rodriguez 1000020 0.00
HBP - Cedeno (by Stephen Strasburg)
WP - Stephen Strasburg (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Stephen Strasburg 108-63, Ryan Mattheus 23-14, Sean Burnett 19-14, Henry Rodriguez 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Stephen Strasburg 3-6, Ryan Mattheus 1-0, Sean Burnett 1-0, Henry Rodriguez 1-0
Batters Faced - Stephen Strasburg 24, Ryan Mattheus 4, Sean Burnett 4, Henry Rodriguez 3
New York Mets
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ruben Tejada, SS4010022 .333
Daniel Murphy, 2B3010100 .320
Lucas Duda, RF3000123 .136
Ike Davis, 1B4010022 .050
Jason Bay, LF3000024 .158
    Ramon Ramirez, P0000000 .000
    Jon Rauch, P0000000 .000
   a- Justin Turner, PH1000011 .250
    Miguel Batista, P0000000 .000
    Tim Byrdak, P0000000 .000
Josh Thole, C3000102 .429
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF3000121 .250
Ronny Cedeno, 3B3000022 .429
Johan Santana, P2000012 .000
    Manny Acosta, P0000000 .000
    Scott Hairston, LF1000011 .222
Totals30030415  
a-struck out for Rauch in the 8th
Fielding
DP - Murphy-Tejada
PB - Josh Thole (2)
New York Mets
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Johan Santana (L,0-1) 5511380 0.90
Manny Acosta 1.1111300 6.00
Ramon Ramirez 1211210 2.70
Jon Rauch 0.2000000 0.00
Miguel Batista0111100 7.71
Tim Byrdak 1000110 0.00
HBP - Werth (by Miguel Batista)
WP - Johan Santana (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Johan Santana 98-56, Manny Acosta 26-12, Ramon Ramirez 38-23, Jon Rauch 2-2, Miguel Batista 16-5, Tim Byrdak 17-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Johan Santana 1-5, Manny Acosta 1-2, Ramon Ramirez 1-1, Jon Rauch 1-1
Batters Faced - Johan Santana 22, Manny Acosta 7, Ramon Ramirez 7, Jon Rauch 2, Miguel Batista 3, Tim Byrdak 4
Game Information
Attendance - 34614
Game Time - 3:36
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Todd Tichenor, Third Base - Brian Gorman