|Washington (8-3) «||0||0||1||1||0||4||0||0||x||6||13||0|
WASHINGTON -- Before last week's start in New York, Stephen Strasburg noticed his curveball wasn't working the way he wanted it to. He made an adjustment and dazzled the Mets, limiting them to two hits in six innings. Five days later, Strasburg relied on it again.
Against the Houston Astros, the 23-year-old looked unhittable for five innings, struggled in the sixth and watched his team score four runs after he was lifted for a pinch-hitter as the Washington Nationals beat the Astros 6-3 on Monday.
Strasburg allowed just three singles in the first five, but the Astros got to him in the sixth for two runs and three hits.
Strasburg (2-0) walked one and struck out five. He hasn't allowed a home run in 50 1-3 innings -- since Aug. 15, 2010. His ERA rose from 0.69 to 1.42.
"I thought I could get another inning out of him -- until that rough inning," manager Davey Johnson said.
Strasburg used the curveball regularly at San Diego State, and on Monday, he had his best since his Aug. 2010 Tommy John surgery.
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"I made an adjustment in New York with it. In the `pen, it wasn't working warming up," Strasburg said.
"I just wanted to go out there and trust it -- and it worked pretty well."
Last week, Johnson allowed him to throw a career-high 108 pitches. He wanted Strasburg to throw fewer. Through five innings, he threw 61, but in the laborious sixth, Strasburg had to throw 32.
"In his previous start, I took him longer than I wanted to. It probably took a little bit out of him," Johnson said.
Strasburg wasn't surprised to be pinch-hit for, but didn't come out willingly.
"He knows I want to go out there and stay out there as long as I possibly can. You want to go 7,8,9 innings. I got into a couple of jams that put the pitch count up."
Weiland started for the seventh time in his major league career and is winless in five decisions.
"You try to focus on your own game. Obviously, you know that's in the back of your mind. He's going to go out there and give his best, and it's probably going to be a low scoring game," Weiland said.
After Strasburg left, Sean Burnett got two outs in the seventh, Ryan Mattheus allowed an earned run in the eighth, Tom Gorzelanny finished the eighth, and Henry Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his second save.
In the third, Ian Desmond doubled to left with one out. Lombardozzi bunted, but Weiland threw the ball away, and Desmond scored on the error.
Wilson Ramos hit his first home run with two outs in the fourth.
In the sixth,
In the bottom of the sixth, Ankiel singled with one out, and with two outs, Roger Bernadina, batting for Strasburg walked. Desmond walked to load the bases, and Lombardozzi, who was starting because Johnson wanted to rest Danny Espinosa, slapped a double to left, and Zimmerman followed with the two-run double.
Weiland pitched 5 2-3 innings, allowing six runs and 10 hits.
The Astros scored their final run in the eighth on a single to Buck and a triple by Johnson -- his third hit of the game. They batted 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
"With every pitcher I think, as you go and as you get at-bats off of him, your comfort level goes up a little bit. But he's got really good stuff. He throws hard and he's got three really good pitches," Chris Johnson said.
|The Nationals' Stephen Strasburg strikes out five and allows two earned runs to beat the Astros and move to 2-0 on the year. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Jordan Schafer, CF||5||1||1||0||0||2||3||.237|
|Jed Lowrie, SS||4||1||1||0||1||2||3||.250|
|J.D. Martinez, LF||4||0||0||0||1||4||3||.333|
|Carlos Lee, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.268|
|Travis Buck, RF||4||1||2||0||0||1||3||.375|
|Chris Johnson, 3B||4||0||3||3||0||0||1||.349|
|Jason Castro, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.125|
|Jose Altuve, 2B||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.351|
|Kyle Weiland, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Wesley Wright, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Justin Maxwell, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.400|
|Brandon Lyon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Brian Bogusevic, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.133|
|a-singled for Wright in the 7th|
|b-grounded out for Lyon in the 9th|
|2B - Travis Buck (3, Mattheus), Jose Altuve (3, Burnett)|
|3B - Chris Johnson (1, Mattheus)|
|SH - Kyle Weiland (1)|
|RBI - Chris Johnson 3 (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chris Johnson 2 (3)|
|SB - Chris Johnson (2, 2nd base off Strasburg/Ramos)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Jordan Schafer 1|
|DP - Altuve-Lowrie-Lee|
|E - Kyle Weiland (1, Throwing)|
|Kyle Weiland (L,0-2)||5.2||10||6||6||4||2||1||8.44|
|IBB - Ramos by Brandon Lyon|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Weiland 99-60, Wesley Wright 6-4, Brandon Lyon 31-18|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Weiland 3-11, Brandon Lyon 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Kyle Weiland 30, Wesley Wright 1, Brandon Lyon 9|
|Ian Desmond, SS||4||2||1||0||1||0||1||.346|
|Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B||5||1||4||2||0||0||0||.500|
|Ryan Zimmerman, 3B||4||0||2||2||1||1||2||.209|
|Adam LaRoche, 1B||4||0||1||0||1||1||4||.333|
|Jayson Werth, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.341|
|Xavier Nady, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.214|
|Rick Ankiel, CF||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.167|
|Wilson Ramos, C||3||1||1||1||1||0||2||.226|
|Stephen Strasburg, P||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.167|
|a- Roger Bernadina, PH||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||.143|
|Sean Burnett, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Mattheus, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.000|
|Tom Gorzelanny, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Henry Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-walked for Strasburg in the 6th|
|2B - Ian Desmond (4, Weiland), Stephen Lombardozzi (1, Weiland), Adam LaRoche (3, Lyon)|
|HR - Wilson Ramos (1, Weiland)|
|RBI - Stephen Lombardozzi 2 (3), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (4), Wilson Ramos (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Stephen Lombardozzi 2 (3), Ryan Zimmerman 2 (2), Wilson Ramos (1)|
|SB - Ryan Zimmerman (1, 2nd base off Wright/Castro), Jayson Werth (1, 2nd base off Lyon/Castro)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Stephen Strasburg (W,2-0)||6||6||2||2||1||5||0||1.42|
|Ryan Mattheus (H,2)||0.2||2||1||1||0||1||0||5.40|
|Tom Gorzelanny (H,1)||0.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Henry Rodriguez (S,2)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||0.00|
|Pitches-Strikes - Stephen Strasburg 93-61, Sean Burnett 19-11, Ryan Mattheus 8-6, Tom Gorzelanny 9-5, Henry Rodriguez 17-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Stephen Strasburg 5-8, Ryan Mattheus 1-0, Henry Rodriguez 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Stephen Strasburg 25, Sean Burnett 4, Ryan Mattheus 4, Tom Gorzelanny 2, Henry Rodriguez 4|
|Attendance - 16245|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 84|
|Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Chris Guccione, Third Base - Tim Tschida|