WASHINGTON – Stephen Strasburg and Brandon Beachy found themselves locked in a pitcher’s duel today and Strasburg and two other Nationals relievers shut out the Atlanta Braves. Strasburg allowed four hits and struck out nine in seven innings of work. He threw just 90 pitches, as he is on a strict pitch and inning count. His record improved to 6-1. For the Braves, Beachy pitched into the seventh inning and struck out six on 3 hits, but allowed two runs and that was the difference in the game.
By all accounts, Strasburg probably had his best stuff of the year today. Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla said, “He was electric. He’s always electric, but today he was hitting his spots, had his curve ball going, his changeup was nasty,” Nat manager Davey Johnson, said he heard Uggla grousing about Strasburg’s stuff, but he couldn’t repeat what he said.
DENVER – Los Angeles Dodgers starter Aaron Harang was finally able to tame the Colorado Rockies today allowing just one earned run over six innings of work. He struck out six and walked three in the Dodgers beat the Rockies 6-2. Bobby Abreu homered for the Dodgers and Andre Ethier knocked in two runs with two base hits. Carlos Gonzalez was held in check by Harang and the Dodgers used for other pitchers to nail down the victory.
PHILADELPHIA – Miami Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez homered twice off of the Philadelphia Phillies Cole Hamels and the Marlins beat the Phillies 5-4 on Saturday afternoon. Ricky Nolasco pitched seven innings and allowed four runs but it was enough to overcome the Phillies. Hunter Pence hit his 13th home run and the Phillies had nine hits. Heath Bell pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save in 15 chances.
SAN FRANCISCO – Matt Cain dominated the Chicago Cubs into the ninth-inning allowing just one earned run, five hits and striking out seven and the Giants beat the Cubs and Matt Garza 2-1. Garza who has been the subject of trade rumors as of late pitched six strong innings and struck out six but the Cubs could only generate token offense against Cain. the Cubs had taken an early lead against the Giants when David DeJesus homered in the fourth inning. The Giants came back with two runs in the sixth which would be all they needed to nail down the victory.
NEW YORK – New York Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey ( 8-1) shut out the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 on Saturday. Dickey gave up seven hits and struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. the Mets have now won six of their last eight games and are in a tie for second place in the National League East with the Miami Marlins. After a three run second inning would be all the runs the Mets and Dickey needed. David Wright added his sixth home run of the year in the eighth inning. After being no-hit by Johan Santana yesterday the Cardinals now been shut out two games in a row.
SAN DIEGO – Daniel Hudson in his second start since coming off the disabled list pitched eight strong innings leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a victory over the San Diego Padres 4-2 . Hudson pitched eight innings allowing two earned runs, five hits and he struck out five. JJ Putz came on in the 9th to record his 12th save of the season. for the Padres, Edison Volquez pitched well enough to win many games as he pitched six innings allowing two earned runs, but his counterpart Hudson was too strong today.
MILWAUKEE – Shaun Marcum dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates today with seven innings of five hit ball. He struck out eight and allowed one earned run as the Brewers beat the Pirates 5-1. the Brewers scored four runs in the fourth inning including a two run home run by Brooks Conrad. The two teams will play the rubber game of the series on Sunday.