Jason Heyward and Buster Posey have nothing on the hype Stephen Strasburg (5-3, 2.91) carries with him into each one of his starts. The kid was perhaps the most anticipated debut in major league history. Since returning from the DL Strasburg had struggled a bit giving up nine runs (seven earned) in 9.1 innings but looked to get back on track tonight against the Phillies.
Strasburg went 4 1/3 innings allowing one run and striking out six before alerting team trainers and Manager Jim Riggleman that something was wrong. ESPN’s Jayson Stark is saying it is a strained flexor tendon in his forearm and will have an MRI tomorrow.
The Phillies did welcome back first baseman Ryan Howard from the DL and he collected the first hit for Philadelphia against Strasburg. The Phillies had Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, and Placido Polanco in the lineup together for the first time since June 25 and only the 11th time this season. It was not a joyous reunion. For the second game in a row the Phillies’ offense only managed four hits and one run. Having Roy Halladay pitch last night, that kind of production gets the job done. Tonight was another story altogether.
Kyle Kendrick (8-6, 4.58) opened the doors early for the Nationals walking the bases loaded in the first inning in route to allowing three runs in the top frame and five total over 5 2/3 innings. Although Kendrick pitched badly tonight it was a total team effort that led to this loss. Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez had three strikeouts each in the game.
The Phillies will send Roy Oswalt to the hill tomorrow to try and win the series finale and stay in the hunt for the NL East. He will be matched up against Scott Olsen.