Even though the Washington Nationals had a walk-off win tonight over the Atlanta Braves, the main storyline is the injury to Stephen Strasburg.
The Washington Nationals walked off the Atlanta Braves 5-4 tonight in 11 innings on a Wilson Ramos walk-off single to complete the series sweep. However, the main story is the injury to Stephen Strasburg, who was making his return to the rotation tonight for the first time since August 17.
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Strasburg looked to be back to his All-Star form in the first inning. He got a weak ground ball and two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 first inning and his fastball was sitting 96-97 mph.
The Nationals broke open the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. Wilmer Difo beat out an infield single with one out and was bunted over to second by Strasburg. Two batter later, Jayson Werth gave the Nats the lead with an RBI single to left.
In the top of the third, disaster struck for the Nationals. After a leadoff double by Dansby Swanson, Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz came to the plate. Strasburg missed with a fastball badly, and it was evident he was in pain immediately after the pitch.
Strasburg was able to throw two more pitches and get Foltynewicz to strike out, but then was removed from the game after a visit from Mike Maddux and trainer Paul Lessard. Here’s the latest from manager Dusty Baker:
Dusty Baker on Stephen Strasburg: MRI tomorrow. “We’re hoping that it’s something minor.” Back of the elbow.
Sean Burnett came in to replace Strasburg and gave the Braves a run right back. Adonis Garcia laced an RBI double to right, scoring Swanson, and tying the game at 1-1. Lucas Giolito came on to replace Burnett in the top of the fourth.
Giolito was pitching well, but ran into trouble in the top of the sixth inning. Three straight singles by Freddie Freeman, Matt Kemp, and Nick Markakis loaded the bases with nobody out. Tyler Flowers hit a ground ball to short and Danny Espinosa made an outstanding play to get the force at second. However, Freeman scored to give Atlanta their first lead of the night. In the top of the seventh, Dansby Swanson homered for the second game in a row to increase the Braves lead to 3-1.
Atlanta went to their bullpen in the bottom of the seventh and it awoke their offense. Stephen Drew led off the inning with a walk and was followed with singles by Trea Turner and Jayson Werth. The bases were loaded with nobody out for Daniel Murphy and the second baseman delivered.
Murphy rocketed a two-run single to left that drove in Drew and Turner to tie the game at three. These two RBI’s brought Murphy’s total to 100 on the season as he joined an exclusive list in Nats history:
Daniel Murphy became the fourth member of the Nationals to drive in a 100 runs in a season. #Nats#MLB#Nationals
In the top of the 10th, the Braves took the lead against reliever Trevor Gott. Jace Peterson ripped a two-out RBI single to left that drove in Markakis.
However, the Nats battled back in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Espinosa and pinch-hitter Chris Heisey hit back-to-back singles. Next up was Anthony Rendon, and he beat out an infield single, which tied the game a four.
In the bottom of the 11th inning, with the bases loaded and no one out, Ramos laced a walk-off RBI single to left to seal the win and the sweep.
Next Game: The Washington Nationals (82-57) begin a four game series with the Philadelphia Phillies (62-77 tomorrow night at Nationals Park. A.J. Cole (1-1, 3.68 ERA) will get the ball for the Nats and will be opposed by Alec Asher (0-6, 9.31) for the Phillies. You can catch the game on MASN at 7:05 p.m ET.