Gio wasn't going to be in the Cy Young conversation. At least that's what five of six of his full seasons tell us. So a game like this was going to happen. It's just bad timing that it had to happen against the Mets. It's not all bad timing mind you. The Mets are good. But Gio did manage to keep them in check just 5 days ago, so hoping for one more good start wasn't asking for much.
It is notable to point out that the Nats have not faced many good offensive teams this year. The Braves, Phillies, and Twins are terrible offensive teams. The Royals are surprisingly bad so far. And Miami and the Mets aren't particularly good. That accounts for 35 of the Nats 45 games. I'm not making a point about the quality of the wins the Nats have*. But I am noting that if you are a Nats starter and things fall right for you, you might have racked up some nice numbers with only a game against top competition.
This brings it back to Gio. He had only faced one good offensive squad so far, the Cubs.** He got hit pretty hard. So maybe Gio's early success was a bit misleading. We'll see as the Nats face better bats as the schedule moves along.
The loss itself isn't very meaningful. I mean, you want a win sure but they don't need it. Just one win in the next two would break the 6 game set into a 3-3 tie, perfectly acceptable for two teams of roughly equal talent going H2H home and away for 6 games. They are favored today and assuming it goes to plan then tomorrow's game, where they won't be, becomes a "house money" game. They can do no worse than split and they can't lose 1st place. So make it happen Strasburg.
Now that's more the Colon we've seen over the past few years. The "have all the singles you want", Colon. He's not a scatterer, as much as he relies on the fact you won't be able to put a lot of them together and with no walks there isn't anyone to drive in other than other single hitters. Of course it's only moderately successful, he has had an ERA over 4.00 the past two seasons. But it keeps a career going in the back of a rotation.
Bryce hti before the game. Bryce hit after the game. Bryce is starting to press. Looking at zone maps from before the 3 walk game and after isn't very telling, in part because there's only so many pitches in each little box. But he is seeing far fewer pitches in the zone and opposing pitchers are really focusing on low and away. It looks like that effort has made him over eager to swing at pitches off the plate INSIDE. He's also swinging and missing more at low pitches although that might be attributed to the mix of what he's seeing there. I'd have to look into that more. Hard to tell the guy to swing less but that may be the best plan. Look for something over the plate and up, or else take.
Is it Trea Turner time? Sure. (Well when service time dictates) But don't expect anything.
*They are 5-5 in those other 10 so it's not like they are struggling there.
**Since you must know, Ross and Max have faced all 3 good offensive teams (STL, CHC, DET), Stras missed the Cubs. Roark and Gio only faced the Cubs. So on the flipside of Gio, Ross' struggles might be related to the effort of going STL, CHC, DET in consecutive outings. Even though he pitched well there, maybe the stress of doing so effected him in some way? I don't know. We're all guessing here.