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Game 95 discussion thread: Nationals at Reds

For Stephen Strasburg so far, a bad outing has constituted something like early command problems leading to him allowing two earned runs over five innings. "For him," Ryan Zimmerman joked, "that's unacceptable."

Eventually, though, won't Strasburg have an honest-to-goodness, full-fledged, just plain bad start? Isn't that ineveitable?

"Nobody's ever not done that," Manager Jim Riggleman said. "Everbody who's ever pitched has had a day where you just didn't have a feel for it. The ball wasn't coming out of their hand good. Whatever reason, they had a day like that. Nolan Ryan all the way through Koufax. He's been tested in the first inning where things were really going south on him and he really regrouped and got better as the game went along."

Strasburg has proved impervious to meltdown, even on his worst days. In his last start, he needed to 32 pitches to get out of the first inning and still allowed no runs in six innings. He was on the ropes, and then, in a flash, he was dominant as ever.

The challenge he has tonight will probably be his stiffest yet. He's facing a Reds offense that is one of the best in the league, playing in a bandbox. Two of the Reds' most dangerous bats, potential MVP Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, are left-handed. Strasburg handles all comers, but lefties have had more luck against him in eight starts -- .241/.307/.392 compared to a ridiculous .175/.223/.186 for right-handers.

No matter the potential pitfall, I wouldn't bet against him. The bigger question might be whether or not the Nationals can support him with some runs against Reds starter Bronson Arroyo. Talk about the game right here.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 21, 2010; 7:10 PM ET
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That was a highlight reel first inning for Stras

Posted by: Kev29 | July 21, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Unless Stras learn how to drive in runs he'll be in for alot of L's on this team

Posted by: SCNatsFan | July 21, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer has to make that catch on the triple by Phillips. He got a bad jump and the ball went right by his glove. A major league CF makes that catch. Nyjer is not a major league CF. When is Rizzo going to swallow some pride and send Nyjer packing.

Posted by: natsfan43 | July 21, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

This team is pathetic. 2nd and 3rd and no outs and only 1 run!

Posted by: deputylefty | July 21, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the lineups you can see how far Gnat have to go to even become an average club. So, for now, Single A has to do.

Posted by: jwing14 | July 21, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

nice tag by Pudge, & finally, a good throw by Bernadina, in the 4th.

Posted by: Hattrik | July 21, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

It's apparente Nyjer doesn't read balls hit sharply well...with his speed he should have caught up with that ball for an easy it was he almost caught it which tells you he has the speed just not the eye or judgment....

At best he is a late inning defensive replacement....

Posted by: pentagon40 | July 21, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

OK, I gotta ask: He can't catch fly balls, he's not a good center fielder, so he should be a late defensive replacement??

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 21, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to find some reporting on the switch of Dunn from #4 to #3. In the July 20 lineup post, it's not mentioned. In the July 21 post, it says Dunn and Zimm are switched again. I didn't see any story about this happening (and why).

Posted by: jdsp2000 | July 21, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

No Willie Harris diatribe yet?

Posted by: paulkp | July 21, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Zim and Dunn were switched earlier in the season, think it was to get Dunn some better pitches with both Zim and Willingham coming up.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 21, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Willie! Mea culpas are now being accepted on line 2.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 21, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Natmeister. I just didn't see any mention of it anywhere.

Posted by: jdsp2000 | July 21, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

YES!! Glad to see the bats come alive. The walks and wild pitches made this one tense. Willie's pinch homer was a nice insurance policy. Savor the moment.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 21, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I'll second you on all counts, Natmeister. Would be great to leave town with a split, eh? Hey, a fan can dream, right?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 21, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

I liked the little head-butt that Gonzo did with Willie upon his post-dinger return to the dugout. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | July 21, 2010 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Sec3mysofa....The point I was trying to make is that last year he showed he could catch flyballs...this year for some reason he is not judging them well...

Hopefully with some coaching and looking at films he will return to last year's form in the outfield and with his speed he would not be a liability in the late innings on defense...He has got to be better than he has shown this year out there...Remember last year???

Posted by: pentagon40 | July 21, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

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