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Stephen Strasburg rebounded from a rough first inning to post a quality start.
Hitting lowlight: It's pretty much all lowlights at the plate right now, but let's focus on the lowest of the lows from this game: The bottom of the seventh. With runners on the corners and one out, Davey Johnson sent pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi to the plate. Lombardozzi go ahead in the count, 3-0, then fell back into a 3-2 count. At which point Johnson decided to send Solano from first base on the pitch, hoping to avoid a double play grounder. Unfortunately, all that did was create a different kind of double play: one of the strike-em-out, throw-em-out variety. Johnson has been talking about his players trying too hard to make something happen to snap out of this slump. That might have been a case of the manager doing the same thing.
Pitching highlight: The way his afternoon started, you never would have guessed Strasburg would wind up throwing seven innings and earning a quality start. Unable to get ahead of hitters in the top of the first, he was done in by three hits, a walk and an error, leading to three quick runs. But to his credit, Strasburg settled down and re-took control of this game. He did it by throwing strike one, putting himself in a much better position to retire hitters. Because of that, he was able to make it all the way through the seventh, departing without allowing another run to cross the plate. Strasburg built up his pitch count to 110 and was allowed to hit for himself in the bottom of the sixth, another sign of the extra rope Johnson is giving his young ace.
Key stat: Anthony Rendon has as many errors as hits (two) through his first four big-league games.
Up next: The challenge doesn't get any easier for the Nationals as the homestand continues this weekend against the powerful Reds. Gio Gonzalez goes up against Bronson Arroyo in Thursday's opener at 7:05 p.m.