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Strasburg's season by the numbers

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Strasburg's season by the numbers

On Wednesday Stephen Strasburg reached a milestone in his 2012 season that someday could be just one of many, something people expect him to do on a yearly basis. But after striking out eight Blue Jay batters up in Toronto, and being the first MLB player this year to reach 100 strikeouts, Strasburg opened eyes as one of the best pitchers in baseball. He is on pace for a Cy Young-caliber season and he is only 23 years old.

Strasburg hitting 100 was a career high as the pitcher had both of his first two seasons shortened by injury. The century mark is actually something not all that common in the Nationals history since moving to Washington, D.C. No Nats pitchers, in fact, reached 100 strikeouts at all in either the 2007 or 2009 seasons. Only one Nationals pitcher hit triple digits in 2006, Ramon Ortiz with 104.

Strasburg is striking out 11.69 batters per nine innings this year which is tops in the entire league. In his career he now has 216 strikeouts in 169.0 total innings, good for an 11.50 per nine rate.

Striking out pitchers is great, but some guys do it a high clip and remain ineffective according to other statistical categories. Strasburg, however, has been dominant all around.

Through 77.0 innings pitched this season Strasburg ranks eighth in the National League with a 2.45 ERA and 10th overall in the majors. His eight wins slots third in the majors, his 1.04 WHIP ranks 15th, and his .585 OPS against comes in at 10th.

The Nationals ace is now around the halfway point in his expected innings limit, a good time to take stock in what he has done so far. It is still early in June, but already Strasburg is putting together perhaps the best pitching campaign in the teams brief history in town.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.