USA Today Sports Images
Denard Span leaps at the wall to snag Jason Kubel's second-inning drive.
Hitting lowlight: After Desmond's home run in the bottom of the fourth, the Nationals managed five singles and a walk, but failed to score another run. They finished the day with 11 strikeouts as a team. Desmond, Jayson Werth, and Tyler Moore each finished with two apiece. Their one through four hitters (Span, Rendon, Zimmerman, & Werth) went a combined 3-for-20.
Pitching highlight: Strasburg was pitching well before his brief DL stint, and he's picked up right where he left off since returning from his lat strain. He's now allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last eight starts, lowering his ERA to 2.41 in the process. That he's still stuck on four wins is a shame, because he's certainly pitched well enough to deserve more, as was the case today. Strasburg was in control all afternoon, his only hiccup coming in the sixth when he allowed a leadoff single to the opposing pitcher and then watched as Hill tagged his 1-0 fastball into the left-field bullpen for the game-tying homer. Strasburg did labor in that sixth inning and walked off the mound at 102 pitches. In the past, that would have automatically signaled the end of his day, but not necessarily anymore. Davey Johnson let him retake the mound for the seventh, and Strasburg rewarded his manager for the show of confidence, retiring the side on 11 pitches to cap off a very strong outing.
Key stat: Drew Storen hasn't allowed an earned run over his last seven appearances, striking out 10 batters over 5 2/3 innings.
Up next: After a nice homestand, the Nationals head out of town for a very quick road trip to New York. Ross Detwiler faces rookie sensation Matt Harvey in Friday's 7:10 p.m. series opener at Citi Field.