In his final start of the season, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg struck out seven batters and walked just one over six scoreless innings tonight as part of a 3-0 win over the Braves. He’ll finish 2015 with a 3.46 ERA and 155/26 K/BB ratio over 127 1/3 innings.
That ERA doesn’t sound overly impressive on the surface, but it does when you remember that he looked lost early on. He struggled to the tune of a 6.55 ERA through his first 10 starts prior to hitting the disabled list with a left trapezius strain at the end of May. While he later missed another month with an oblique strain, he posted a 1.76 ERA over his final 13 starts. He allowed more than three earned runs just once in that time.
This has been a bitterly disappointing season for the Nationals, but Strasburg told Mark Zuckerman of CSNMA.com that he has learned something about himself along the way:
Next season will be a big one for the 27-year-old Strasburg, who can become a free agent after 2016.
Congratulations to the Yankees, who clinched a spot in the American League Wild Card game with a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox tonight at Yankee Stadium. It was a cold and rainy night in the Bronx, so not many people were there to witness it in person, but the Yankees are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
CC Sabathia held Boston’s offense in check by allowing one run over five innings of work. The lone run scored on an RBI single from Mookie Betts in the fifth inning. Adam Warren followed with three scoreless innings before Dellin Betances tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning to lock down the victory. Appropriately enough, this was the 10,000th win in franchise history.
The Yankees plated two runs against Rich Hill in the second inning, including a solo home run from Carlos Beltran and an RBI single by Brendan Ryan. Rookies Greg Bird and Rob Refsynder added some insurance with solo homers in the seventh and eighth innings.
While the Yankees have secured a Wild Card spot, they could clinch homefield with another win tomorrow or a loss by the Astros. The Wild Card game will take place next Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. ET. It’s still unclear who their opponent will be.
There’s a lot on the line as the Angels and Rangers finish the regular season with a four-game series in Arlington. While the Rangers are trying to clinch the AL West, the Angels are hoping to stay alive for a Wild Card spot.
With the stakes of this matchup, it only makes sense that Josh Hamilton would play a role somehow. Watch this awesome running over-the-shoulder catch in the top of the second inning tonight:
Albert Pujols (barely) scored on the play, but the catch prevented a potential big inning. Oh, and Hamilton’s surgically-repaired knee is apparently just fine.