Starsburg and Hudson battle it out, Nats salvage four-game sweep with 2-1 win
Strasburg and Hudson did not disappoint tonight, each starter going back and forth thru the games first six innings. The Cards wouldn’t collect their first base hit until the 3rd and the Nats wouldn’t record their first hit until the 4th.
Strasburg and Hud were both filthy. Seriously, their pitches were dancing all over the zone the first couple of innings, it was remarkable. Stras would strikeout 4 of the first 6 he faced and Hud would strikeout 5 of the first 6 he faced.
Hudson had excellent control on his front door sinker to left-handed bats this evening. Even some pitches that were blooped for base hits were fantastic pitches, and the best Hud has looked vs LHB this season. Of Hud’s first four k’s, two of them were on front door sliders to LHB’s (Eaton & Adams), as he struck out the side in the 2nd on 16 pitches. Hudson also had pinpoint control on this 82mph breaking pitch to lefties the first time thru the order, I am gonna go ahead and label it a curveball, although it kind of just looks like his slider slowed down 5-6mph. He was hammering it low and in really hard vs LHB, generating a couple of funny swings and misses.
The Cards got on the board first in the top of the 3rd, getting back-to-back singles on the first two pitches of the inning from Wieters and Muñoz, bringing up Hudson in a sacrifice situation. Wieters would get picked off 2B by Gomes, who fired a strike down to Difo at SS for the first out after Hudson whiffed a bunt attempt. Hudson would eventually get the bunt down, moving Muñoz up to 2B on the play. KoWo put the team on his back, ripping a two out changeup into RF for an rbi single to give the Birds a 1-0 against Strasburg. Stras put an end to the rally, striking out Trap House for the second time, getting him on a solid changeup.
The Nats answered back to gain the lead in the bottom of the 4th, knocking back-to-back singles from Kendrick (2-4) and Adams. Gomes came up next, reaching base on a generous infield single ruling from the home scorer, and a throwing error on Muñoz at SS, allowing Kendrick to score to tie things at 1-1. Hud then traded two outs for a run, as Dozier grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to score Adams to make it a 2-1 Nats lead. Difo flew out to Prince Sex to end the inning.
The Cardinals would threaten the rest of the game, but were unable to push across that tying run. They would collect a base hit in every inning from the 5th point forward, stranding 9 thru that time frame. Their best chance came in the top of the 8th, when Jedd led the inning off vs Barraclough with his second base hit of the game to CF. Carp, batting in the three spot tonight and playing 1B with the getaway lineup, struck out on a slider to bring up Swags, who tapped an infield single to bring in O’Neill. O’Neill has seen overmatched the past handful of at bats he’s taken, striking out for the fourth time of the game, whiffing at a slider from Barraclough.
Strasburg: (6.2IP, 6 hits, 1er, 2 bb, 9 k’s, 108 pitches) Hudson: (6IP, 4 hits, 2r/1er, 2 bb, 7 k’s, 98 pitches)
Doolittle would come in for the four-out save opportunity, walking Bader to load the bases upon entering. Bader really worked a fantastic plate appearance here. With Wieters spot coming up, Shildt would elect to pinch-hit with Goldy, who would get rung up on the most BS check swing of all time from first base umpire, Quinn Wolcott. Remember that name, we will boo him forever.
Doolittle closed things out in the 9th for his 4th save of the season, getting DeJong (pinch-hitting), KoWo, and Jedd after Muñoz reached on his third single of the night.
The Cardinals (20-11) are on their way outta D.C. to Chicago to take on the Cubs (16-12) as you read this, heading out on a #HappyFlight with the series win. Jack Flaherty (3-1, 4.06) gets the ball in game-one of the three game weekend set, as he takes on Kyle Hendricks (1-4, 5.33). First pitch tomorrow afternoon from Wrigley Field, 1:20pm c/t. So a reminder to TAKE OFF WORK.