Stephen Strasburg fans 10 in dominant season finale

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The Nationals weren’t sure whether it was a good idea to give Stephen Strasburg a fifth and final start on the last day of the season, but they’re probably glad they did after witnessing a stellar performance today.

Strasburg allowed just one hit over six innings and struck out 10 in a 79-pitch masterpiece against the Marlins on Wednesday.  He picked up the victory — his first in five starts since returning from Tommy John surgery — in the 3-1 win.

Strasburg ends his September comebacks with a 1.50 ERA and a 24/2 K/BB ratio in 24 innings.  He didn’t allow a homer.  He now has a 2.54 ERA and a 116/19 K/BB ratio in 92 innings since debuting in 2010.

It’s still a ways off, but it will be interesting to see where the Nationals slot Strasburg into next year’s rotation.  Strasburg figures to be their best pitcher, but Jordan Zimmermann probably deserves the nod after amassing a 3.18 ERA in his 26 starts this year. Since Strasburg will be on an innings limit next year, the Nats might decide to make him their fifth starter initially, allowing them to better control his workload.

José Altuve records hit in 10 consecutive plate appearances

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Astros second baseman José Altuve recorded a hit in 10 consecutive plate appearances between Friday and Sunday against the Indians. If the Astros were still in the National League, that would tie a league record, but the AL and overall record is 12 consecutive hits, which was accomplished by the Tigers’ Walt Dropo on July 14 and 15 in 1952. Altuve’s 10 consecutive hits did set a new Astros record, however. The previous club record was eight, set by Altuve last season.

In his third plate appearance on Friday, Altuve grounded out to shortstop. Here were his next 10 trips to the dish:

  1. Two-run double
  2. Double
  3. Infield single
  4. Two-run home run
  5. Single
  6. Triple
  7. Single
  8. Infield single
  9. RBI double
  10. RBI single

This was hit No. 10:

In his final at-bat in the top of the ninth on Sunday, Altuve lined out to center field to end his streak. Teammate Josh Reddick, currently on the disabled list, was impressed with the streak:

After Sunday’s performance, Altuve is hitting .332/.378/.459 with three home runs, 28 RBI, and 31 runs scored in 239 plate appearances this season. His OPS was .760 after Thursday’s game and is now .837.