Healthy Strasburg deals, but it’s not enough versus Mets

by Jacob Emert | MLB.com

In his first start after missing a turn in the rotation with back tightness, Stephen Strasburg quelled any questions about his health, tossing eight strong innings in the series finale against the Mets.

Strasburg struck out 13 in Washington’s 5-3 loss to the Mets, but saw his night come to a rough end after entering the eighth inning with a 2-1 lead. He allowed a game-tying pinch-hit home run to Kelly Johnson and was pulled after surrendering a single to Curtis Granderson. Granderson scored on a two-run Yoenis Cespedes home run off Drew Storen.

“I went out there and battled,” Strasburg said. “It was a tough one, a tough one to swallow. But we fought to the very end.”

Strasburg was pulled from his Aug. 30 start after four innings with discomfort in his back, an injury linked to body issues that placed him on the disabled list two times prior this season. On Wednesday, he was back to his electric stuff, using a high-90s fastball and a filthy curveball to take advantage of New York’s batters.

“Stephen threw the ball extremely well tonight,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “Went to his changeup late. Usually, he shows his changeup a little earlier, but tonight he only threw a few of them. But he threw the heck out of his curveball and he was locating his fastball. Coming off the year that he’s had, that was a big-time performance tonight.”

With the loss, the Nationals fell seven games back of the Mets in the National League East.

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