The Washington Nationals brought out all the big guns against the Houston Astros in Sunday's Rubber Match. Stephen Strasburg pitched the first three innings of the game in his second start of the season and the offense came out to play in a big way as the Nationals dominated the Astros 8-2.
Strasburg started the game shaky with control and velocity issues, but he settled in and began to baffle the Astros line up even when he wasn't 100% sharp. His final line of the game was three innings, one run, three hits, no walks and four strike outs. He topped out at 96 mph while using his change up as his strike out pitch. It took him 31 pitches to get out of the first inning, but a "struggling Strasburg outing" is probably more than acceptable by any means.
The Nationals had a huge third inning where for the fifth time in franchise history mashed back-to-back-to-back home runs. Ian Desmond, Rick Ankiel and Ryan Zimmerman all went long consecutively off Houston's Henry Sosa. The last time the Nationals performed such a feat was in 2009 against the Astros. Nationals rookie Chris Marrero had a big day going 2-for-2 and scoring two RBI. He was also hit by a pitch. Second baseman Danny Espinosa also broke his 0-for-15 slump hitting two doubles.
The Nats move 66-77 on the year.