Unbeaten Strasburg pitches Nats past Mets
NEW YORK — It's been more than a century since a National League starting pitcher was as perfect as Stephen Strasburg so far.
Strasburg stayed undefeated, winning a marquee pitching matchup against an ailing Noah Syndergaard by tossing seven innings of two-hit ball Friday night that sent the Washington Nationals to a 3-1 victory over the banged-up New York Mets.
Clint Robinson hit a two-run homer for the Nationals, going deep for the second consecutive night, and Daniel Murphy added an RBI double against his former team. Strasburg (12-0) struck out nine and became the first NL starter in 104 years to win his first 12 decisions in a season. He has won a franchise-record 15 straight since September.
"Just shows how good they swing on the days I pitch, I guess," Strasburg said with a laugh.
Oliver Perez and Blake Treinen combined to escape an eighth-inning jam, and Washington extended its NL East lead to four games over the Mets after dropping the opener of the four-game set Thursday night.
"Series like this, they tend to be, who makes the least amount of mistakes — and we didn't make very many mistakes tonight," Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon said.
Syndergaard (9-4) and slugger Yoenis Cespedes left early with injuries, hours after New York announced that struggling pitcher Matt Harvey will have season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.
Cespedes was pulled after three innings with a strained right quadriceps and said he hopes to return after the All-Star break. The slugger got hurt chasing Murphy's double to deep center field in the third and was replaced by Juan Lagares in the fourth.
Cespedes and Syndergaard were selected for the All-Star Game on Tuesday in San Diego, but both are unlikely to participate, Collins said. They are expected to be examined today.
Strasburg also was picked for the NL squad but was replaced on the roster Friday by Washington teammate Max Scherzer. Strasburg came off the disabled list this week and won't pitch in the Midsummer Classic as a precaution. The right-hander is from San Diego and plans to attend the game, the Nationals said.
"They came to me and they said that that was what they were thinking," Strasburg said. "In my head, I'm like, I want to make up for the two starts I missed, so hopefully I'll be able to start the first game back and get the second half going right."