Updated 12:45 PM EST, Fri, Jan 22, 2021

Stephen Strasburg Impressively Returns as Nationals Win

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On the 4th of July, the Washington National's Stephen Strasburg suffered a strained oblique against the San Francisco Giants after only three innings. It was enough to put him in the disabled list.

But after roughly a month, he finally returned to face the Colorado Rockies at home. Strasburg was impressive and dominant as he struck out 12 with no walks, allowing only three hits and a run for seven innings. He was also impressive at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three singles which is a career high.

"I ran into the first one," Strasburg said per Bill Ladson of MLB.com. "I was thinking as I hit it, it was going to be my best chance this year. I hit it as hard as I could. You know as they say, sometimes you need one of those hits to get things going. I started to feel a little more comfortable."

Strasburg who has been struggling all season with command and injuries allowed a leadoff double from Charlie Blackmon but got the next three batters out, including a swinging strikeout of Nolan Arenado to end the first inning, stranding Blackmon at third base. Strasburg got two more strikeouts in the second before Blackmon added another hit in the third inning.

In the fourth inning, Arenado got revenge by hitting a solo home run in the fourth for the only run of the Rockies. The former first overall pick in 2009 was dealing with nine strikeouts after only five innings. Strasburg threw a total of 91 pitches and adding three more strikeouts.

According to Ladson of MLB.com, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said, "He didn't look like he was coming off the DL. His stuff was electric today. His fastball was moving a lot with velocity and his breaking ball was really good, too. It's really sharp. It looks like it's going to be around the strike zone and then it goes down quick to the ground. As soon as you see, you already swung the bat and you get yourself in trouble."

The Nationals' offense gave all the run support Strasburg needed as they pounced Rockies' starter Eddie Butler. Wilson Ramos hit a two-run double to give the Nationals the lead 2-0 in the second inning. Ian Desmond singled in next inning to add another run. Ryan Zimmerman joined the party with a double, scoring Bryce Harper in the fourth.

After the seventh inning, Strasburg was pulled out and around 38,000 fans gave him a standing ovation. The Nationals scored two more runs in the eighth from Ryan Zimmerman and Clint Robinson. Blake Treinen took over in the eight ending the inning with seven pitches. Matt Thornton finished the game, retiring the last three batters.

It's a good sign for the Nationals that Strasburg was dominating in his return as they try to gain the first place in the NL East back from the red hot New York Mets.

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