Whenever you see Stephen Strasburg’s name on the lineup sheet, you expect that you’re going to see him have a good showing out on the mound. On Thursday night against the Atlanta Braves, the Washington Nationals got more than they bargained for, however, as he not only delivered with his arm but also with his bat. He ultimately would give up three earned runs over five and a third innings pitched, but it was his bat that helped lead his team to the win.
He went 3 for 3 from the plate, smacking a home run in the third inning that drove himself and two others in. Curiously enough, it was the second time he had gotten a hit in the frame, an amazing statistic in and of itself. Strasburg is, and never has been, a slouch at the plate, mind you. He won the Silver Slugger in 2012 for being the best hitting pitcher that year, so it’s no shock to see him do well at the dish. It’s just a surprise to see him do this well. The Nationals would go on to win 13-4 in the end, rollicking the Braves in the first game of a four-game set. They are now 5.5 back of them after handing the current NL East leaders their third ‘L’ in a row.