Stephen Strasburg strikes out nine in a dominating performance


Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Stephen Strasburg!

The Nats’ ace was a bit rusty in his first start back from the disabled list, but there was no rust to be seen last night against the Rockies. He allowed one run in seven innings, giving up five hits walking no one and striking out nine.

The Nats are slowly turning things around. Strong starts from Jordan Zimmermann and Strasburg, some awakening offense from Ian Desmond and Adam LaRoche. And, quite possibly, a quicker return for Bryce Harper than many expected are all what the doctor ordered. Pair that with a Braves team that is struggling mightily and the NL East is quickly becoming a race again.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.