“It’s not a good feeling, but what can you do?” Strasburg said. “You can only go out there and give it everything you have. Sometimes it’s not going to work out.”
Strasburg showed no ill-effects from his previous start, when Atlanta’s wicked heat forced him out of the game after three innings. He received an IV in the afternoon and drank more fluids. Pitching at night, even with a 96-degree temperature at first pitch, Strasburg did not feel hot during the game.
Strasburg found a new nemesis. Rockies first baseman Tyler Colvin became the first hitter to whack two homers off him in the same game, driving in all three runs against Strasburg. Colvin joined Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla as the second to hit multiple home runs off him, period.
“All I can really think of is two pitches,” Strasburg said. “I don’t think they were the right pitches to throw in that situation. I feel like I didn’t have the right mind-set, so it should be an easy fix.”
Colvin had not faced Strasburg before, and then he drilled hits in all three of his at-bats, also becoming the seventh batter with at least three total hits off Strasburg. In the eighth, off reliever Ryan Mattheus, Colvin smashed a drive to the right field warning track and missed a three-homer game by a few feet.
Aside from Colvin’s missiles, the Rockies took advantage of good fortune and late jumps by outfielders. Their other six hits off Strasburg were singles, two of which fell just shy of Michael Morse after he picked up the ball a moment late.
The Rockies did not blister the ball against Strasburg, but they made him throw 107 pitches over six innings.
They also left him to swallow a hard-to-fathom fact: In their last 11 games, the Nationals are 7-1 when Strasburg does not start and 0-3 when he does.
Manager Davey Johnson plans to schedule Strasburg’s first start after the all-star break depending on the workload in the game.
The Nationals had scored at least five runs their past eight games, averaging 9.4 runs during that span. And then Pomeranz, a 23-year-old with two career wins, dominated them, basically, with one pitch.
“I think a lot of guys are going to go home dreaming about fastballs tonight,” shortstop Ian Desmond said. “We just missed a bunch of balls.”