There really isn't much to say about the Diamondbacks' 9-1 butt kicking handed to them by Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals. The offense wasn't there, the pitching was subpar and the energy level seemed down, despite this being the Diamondbacks' first home game in almost two weeks.
Still, it's hard to get any sort of big run going when you are forced to hit against one of the league's premier young pitchers. Strasburg threw a total of six innings and allowed a total of one hit and one earned run. The only thing that anyone could remotely criticize is the fact that he walked four batters. In a word, Strasburg was smooth.
Manager Kirk Gibson recognized as much in his postgame comments:
"Well, he's got good stuff obviously. I actually thought we had a pretty good approach on him. We didn't have a lot of energy to overcome that tonight to be honest with you. He pitched well. You've got to play a lot better to beat that... We won't hit tomorrow or the next day and we'll try to get some energy back."
After a long road trip, it seems that the Diamondbacks players were just simply worn out. Strasburg threw a gem of a game by all accounts, but the D-backs just didn't have any rhythm at all on the night. Because of that, Gibby sounds as if he will be giving the guys a couple of nights off from batting practice to help refresh them a bit.
Newcomer Chris Johnson was the sole Diamondbacks player to register a hit on Strasburg and he was somewhat blown away with what he saw as well.
"I saw all of his pitches today. He's really good. He's one of those guys that when he's on his game, it's going to be really tough. We got some guys on base, we [were able to] draw some walks, we tried to be selective, but his stuff got the better of us tonight. You're not going to consistently do well against him. If you get that chance, you've gotta jump on him."
Strasburg's opponent on the night was Trevor Cahill, who besides a couple of bad pitches, actually threw a pretty good game. He allowed two home runs to Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman, but he was able to get through the first couple of innings unscathed and he looked pretty sharp.
"It was just one of those night where I couldn't put anyone away. I made a couple of mistakes and they made me pay for it," Cahill said of his performance.
He also noted that facing someone with Strasburg's type of talent is never easy to do and that as a pitcher, you have to be on your best game if you want to keep your team in it. "It's always fun facing number ones [pitchers in the rotation] to kind of see how you compare. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get it done."
It's always tough when your baseball team has to face the opposing team's ace. But it's an entirely different circumstance when that ace is Stephen Strasburg.