Walks And Baserunning Hurt Nats In Loss, Strasburg's Arm In Question

DC Sports Nexus ---- Monday, April 29, 2013

Nationals 2, Braves 3
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Nationals 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 10 0
Braves 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 3 7 0

The Washington Nationals lost to the Atlanta Braves in the first of a four game series 3-2 on Monday night in Atlanta.  Walks by both the starter and the bullpen and a few baserunning mistakes were the downfall of the Nats.  Mistakes seems to be the ongoing trend for the Nats this season as they fall back down to .500.

Stephen Strasburg started slow and didn't look right for most of the night.  He was throwing his fastball inexplicably in the low 90's and shaking his arm, even more than usual.  Strasburg walked 4 guys, 3 of them to lead off innings, but finished with 8 strikeouts and only 2 earned runs.

Early in the 5th inning, Strasburg shook his head after a ball called by the home plate umpire.  A few pitches later he threw two pitches way out of the zone and afterwards cursed at the ground.  It seemed like he had lost it.

However he finished that at bat by striking out Justin Upton with a heater down the middle, then striking out 3 guys in a row in the 6th inning, his fastball back up to the high 90's.  It was bizarre how he improved towards the end especially when Davey Johnson mentioned in the postgame that Strasburg was having his arm examined by doctors.  Forearm stiffness and tired arm were both phrases brought up by the Nats skipper.  More on this in the following days.

The Nationals started the game with 6 hits the first time through the order but it only generated 2 runs thanks to baserunning mistakes by Chad Tracy and Denard Span.  Those types of mistakes have been crushing the Nats all season long, yet they continue to make them game after game.

Tracy and Suzuki each picked up RBI's in the 2nd inning when the Nats hit 4 straight singles off the Braves starter Julio Teheran.

With Strasburg out of the game early after the 6th inning, Tyler Clippard walked another leadoff hitter who eventually scored on a sac fly.  All 3 runs the Braves scored were on base because they were walked.

Jayson Werth who had a sore groin left the game after also being hit in the ankle pretty badly with a foul tip.  No word on his status for the remainder of the series.

The Nats get three more shots at the Braves starting tomorrow evening.

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