WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals watches the game against the Florida Marlins at Nationals Park on September 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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It took 13-innings, but by the time it was all over, the Washington Nationals lost a hard fought game to the Florida Marlins 4-1. It is the second consecutive loss for the Nationals at the hands of the Marlins who continue to have D.C.'s number.
It seems that not even having Stephen Strasburg pitching and throwing heat is enough to inspire the Nats to do something against their fishy NL East rivals. Strasburg, in his third start of 2011, was once again magnificent. He pitched 61 pitches, 45 for strikes in six innings of work. He gave up only one run on four hits, walking none and striking out three. The run came off an Omar Infante sac fly in the third. Strasburg was dominant, fooling Marlins hitters with his change up and staying in the 97-99 mph range. He then wowed the crowd and his teammates with a five-pitch fifth inning and an eight-pitch sixth.
Unfortunately the Nationals did not support Strasburg's fantastic performance. The offense did little against Florida's Chris Volstad aside from a Wilson Ramos solo home run in the fifth. The Nationals used five relievers trying to wait for the offense to break the game in Washington's favor, but it never happened. In the 13th inning reliever Collin Balester gave up a two-run home run to Donnie Murphy and a double to Mike Stanton to give the Fish the game.