Washington, DC - A slump is never a good thing in professional sports. What’s really bad is losing four straight when you’re in the hunt for a pennant. When you start dropping the games against the team you’re racing against? Well, that’s just a special kind of suck. Unfortunately, that’s what the Atlanta Braves, dropping a game against the National League East leading Washington Nationals 4-1.
Washington pitcher Stephen Strasburg put on a demonstration, striking out 10 and allowing just one run in six innings, racking up his 15th win of the season. Strasburg has an inning limit, imposed by Washington. By now, he appears to be closing in on that number, though Nationals’ officials haven’t actually said what it is.
“It’s funny. Nobody talks to me personally about it. Obviously, I can either scour the Internet or watch all the stuff being said on TV or I can just keep pitching and watch the Golf Channel, I guess,” Strasburg told ESPN.
With this loss, the Braves and their fourth straight loss find themselves up against the wall. A loss tonight, and they leave town eight games back, with fewer and fewer games left to play to make up the deficit.
“It’s not the end of the world. We’ve got 40 games left or whatever it is,” Atlanta starter Paul Maholm told ESPN. “We’ve got to take care of our business and come in tomorrow and expect to win. As long as we play well, we win series from here on out, I think the last couple weeks will be fun.”