Nats 4, Cardinals 3
Game in a nutshell: Stephen Strasburg started the game strong with six shutout innings, but a rocky seventh by Sean Burnett let the Cardinals back in the game. The Nats were able to respond in the next inning with a two-run rally and take the lead. Kurt Suzuki had a big day with a solo home run in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth. Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa batted in the seventh inning runs to get the Nats ahead for good. The Cardinals scored a run in the 8th on a Tony Cruz double, but Mattheus got out of the eighth and Tyler Clippard held on in the ninth for the win. It was the team's 81st of the year which ties their most since moving to Washington, D.C.
Hitting highlight: Suzuki had an all-around great day at the plate and in the field. His fourth inning homer was a crisp line drive that landed in the first row of seats in left field. He then batted home Desmond in the sixth on a single, accounting for each of the Nats’ first two runs. He also made a nice defensive play earlier in the fourth on a throw home by Bryce Harper. Harper’s throw was well in time, but Suzuki needed to step away from the plate for the scoop and make a nice turn to spot the tag.
Pitching highlight: Strasburg had a few long innings due to mistakes by the defense behind him, but throughout the game he was quite sharp. He went six innings and struck out nine, allowed just two hits and one walk. It came after his worst start of the season in Miami and showed his resilience to bounce back. An eight-pitch third inning was huge for the Nats’ ace after 40 throws through the first two frames.
Key stat: Stephen Strasburg has 195 strikeouts on the season through 156.1 innings pitched. He won’t get many more with just one or two starts left, but to hit the 200 mark as he likely will is remarkable in a shortened season.
Up next: The Chicago Cubs (51-81) come to town to face Ross Detwiler and the Nats. The Labor Day game starts at 1:05 p.m. and is the first of another four-game series.