Stras becomes franchise's all-time K's leader
Nats righty passes Rogers, who struck out 1,621 batters with Expos
NEW YORK -- Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg put himself in the team’s record books during Friday night's 7-6 loss to the Mets at Citi Field. By striking out three batters in the first three innings, Strasburg passed Steve Rogers for the most strikeouts in franchise (Nationals/Expos) history.
Strasburg’s first strikeout came against Jeff McNeil in the first inning. Strasburg then struck out J.D. Davis in the second before fanning Todd Frazier in the third for his 1,622nd career strikeout.
“It’s definitely a blessing,” Strasburg said. “I wasn’t really thinking about it. I didn’t know what was really happening. I’m just going to continue to work hard and get better."
Rogers struck out 1,621 batters over his 13-year career with the Expos.
Not only did he put himself in the record books, but Strasburg was also dealing on this night -- he was perfect the first time through the Mets’ lineup.
“That’s a testament to how hard he works,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He is one of the staples of this organization. He has been here a very long time.”
Strasburg proved he could be vulnerable in the fourth inning, when Pete Alonso hit a two-run homer and Davis followed with a back-to-back blast to tie the game at 3.
“Alonso crushed that one. I guess J.D. did, too,” Strasburg said.
But Strasburg then proved how tough he is when the Mets threatened to take the lead in the sixth inning. Amed Rosario and Michael Conforto reached base on singles, putting runners on the corners with nobody out, but Alonso lined out, Davis struck out and Wilson Ramos grounded out to end the threat.
Strasburg ended up pitching seven innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out six. He received a no-decision after Sean Doolittle blew the save in the ninth by allowing a game-tying three-run homer to Frazier and a walk-off single to Conforto.
After getting hit hard by the D-backs last Saturday, Strasburg felt his start against the Mets was a solid turnaround.
“I wasn’t tipping as much. That’s a step in the right direction,” Strasburg said.
Said Martinez: “He was awesome. He kept us in the ballgame. He had one bad inning. After that, he was really, really good.”