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Stephen Strasburg throws immaculate inning


Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg threw an immaculate inning — three strikeouts on nine pitches — in the fourth inning Wednesday night against the Marlins. Strasburg started out the frame by fanning Garrett Cooper with a fastball-change-fastball combo. Neil Walker then took two change-ups before whiffing at a 95 MPH fastball for strike three. Starlin Castro fell behind 0-2 after seeing a fastball and a curve, then took a 96 MPH fastball for strike three to end the inning.

This is the first immaculate inning of Strasburg’s career. He’s the fourth to do it this season, joining Josh Hader, Thomas Pannone, and Chris Sale (who did it twice). Max Scherzer previously had the Nationals’ most recent immaculate inning, doing so in June last year. Jordan Zimmermann is the only other National to have accomplished the feat.

Strasburg has had mixed results this year. He entered Wednesday’s start carrying a 3.88 ERA with 124 strikeouts and 27 walks across 109 innings. Of his 17 starts, he allowed four or more runs in seven of them.

Chris Archer exits start after one inning due to apparent injury

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Pirates starter Chris Archer exited Tuesday night’s start against the Pirates while warming up ahead of the second inning. He was examined by the Pirates’ training staff before walking off the field. The reason is currently unknown but an update should be forthcoming.

Archer allowed a pair of singles before getting consecutive strikeouts to see his way out of the first inning. The 30-year-old right-hander has had a forgettable year in Pittsburgh, entering Tuesday’s action 3-9 with a 5.23 ERA and a 141/55 K/BB ratio in 118 2/3 innings.

The Pirates, overall, are in rough shape, losing 22 of their last 27 games dating back to July 21. They are 51-73, 15.5 games out of first place in the NL Central cellar. It may behoove them to play it safe with Archer since they don’t have anything to play for over the remainder of the regular season. The club holds options for his 2020 and ’21 seasons at $9 million and $11 million, respectively.