Nationals top Mets; Strasburg goes to 12-0
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[July 09, 2016]
NEW YORK -- One storyline in a
juicy pitching matchup between Washington right-hander Stephen
Strasburg and New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard
disappeared hours before first pitch Friday night, when the
Nationals announced Strasburg would not start or pitch for the
National League in next Tuesday's All-Star Game.
Unfortunately for the Mets, another storyline developed hours later,
when Strasburg continued to pitch like an All-Star Game starter
while Syndergaard all but ensured he would not be able to start or
pitch next Tuesday.
Syndergaard left due to arm fatigue in the fifth inning Friday
night, when Strasburg completed his unbeaten first half by allowing
one run and two hits over seven strong innings as he earned the win
in the Nationals' 3-1 victory at Citi Field.
Strasburg (12-0, 2.62 ERA) is the first National League pitcher to
win at least his first 12 decisions in a season since Rube Marquard
won his first 18 decisions for the New York Giants in 1912.
"Just shows how good they swing on the days I pitch, I guess," the
usually stoic Strasburg said with a rare laugh. "I don't know I'm
just trying to do my part, keep it close and give the guys an
opportunity to win."
Strasburg is also the first pitcher to reach the All-Star Break with
double-digit wins and no losses since Dave McNally was 13-0 prior to
the All-Star Game for the Baltimore Orioles in 1969.
"That's pretty good company," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.
Strasburg will keep company with his fellow All-Stars in San Diego,
where he will partake in the festivities despite not pitching. He
said after the game that a recent stint on the disabled list due to
an upper-back injury played into his decision not to argue with the
Nationals' recommendation that he sit out the game.
"They came to me and they said that that was what they were
thinking," Strasburg said. "In my head, I'm like 'I want to make up
the two starts I missed.' So hopefully (he'll) be able to start the
first game back and get the second half going right."
Strasburg ended the first half going in the right direction. After
throwing 6 2/3 no-hit innings in his first start back from the
disabled list Sunday, he opened Friday night with four no-hit
innings before giving up a homer to Asdrubal Cabrera leading off the
Brandon Nimmo followed with a single before Strasburg retired nine
of the final 10 batters he faced. He walked three and struck out
Shawn Kelley gave up two hits to start the eighth, but Oliver Perez
and Blake Treinen wriggled out of the jam before Jonathan Papelbon
(18th save) threw a perfect ninth inning.
Clint Robinson hit a two-run homer in the second while Daniel Murphy
laced an RBI double in the third for the Nationals (52-36), who
extended their NL East lead over the second-place Mets (47-39) to
While Strasburg looks to be in line to start the Nationals' first
game of the second half, Syndergaard's post-All-Star Game
availability decidedly murkier. He left after 4 2/3 innings Friday,
when his final two pitches -- a pair of low 90 mph fastballs to
Jayson Werth -- spooked Werth as well as Mets manager Terry Collins.
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Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) reacts after
finishing the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Citi
Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
"The first pitch, it didn't come out the same," Werth said. "I
thought maybe it was a slider that he didn't finish or something
right. I saw the 93 and that's a little bit harder than his slider.
So it was kind of just a weird pitch. I took it and then he threw
another one about the same speed. I was kind of baffled a little bit
because it wasn't like anything else I had ever seen from him."
Said Collins: "I said 'I don't like the looks of this.' And
(Syndergaard) just said 'I lost it' and he just said his arm is
tired. So we took him out."
Syndergaard, who fell to 9-4 as his ERA rose to 2.56 after he gave
up the three runs on four hits and three walks while striking out
five, has undergone two known elbow exams this season and has been
pitching through a bone chip in his elbow. Syndergaard and Collins
said that Friday's issue is not believed to be connected.
"There's no pain, there's no discomfort in my elbow regarding the
bone spur or anything," Syndergaard said. "It all boils down to a
little shoulder fatigue."
Collins said " ... that's a pretty good assumption" when asked if
Syndergaard and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes -- who exited after the
third inning with a sore right quad -- would not play in the
The injuries to Cespedes and Syndergaard came hours after the Mets
announced Opening Day starter Matt Harvey will undergo season-ending
surgery to repair thoracic outlet syndrome.
NOTES: Rain delayed the first pitch by 37 minutes. ... The Nationals
recalled OF Michael Taylor and INF Trea Turner from Triple-A
Syracuse, placed 1B Ryan Zimmerman (right rib cage strain) on the
15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Lucas Giolito to Syracuse. ...
Mets RHP Bartolo Colon and Nationals RHP Max Scherzer were added to
the National League All-Star team. The 43-year-old Colon, the oldest
player in baseball, will be the oldest All-Star since former Yankees
RHP Mariano Rivera made the American League team in 2013. Scherzer
replaces his teammate, RHP Stephen Strasburg.
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