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Road Games Unkind for Nationals' Stephen Strasburg

July 27, 2014

There are many movies with the word "road" in them, including "Road to Singapore" (1940), "Road to Bali" (1952) and "Road to Wellville" (1994).

None of them are horror flicks, but any movie with Stephen Strasburg and "road" in the title would certainly be that this season.

The Washington Nationals' right-hander, slated to start July 29 in Miami against the Marlins, has had some scary results away from the friendly confines of Nationals Park this year.

Strasburg is 1-6 with an ERA of 5.09 in away games. He is 6-2 with an ERA of 2.62 at home this season for the first-place Nationals, who are 57-45 after winning, 4-2, July 27 against the Reds in Cincinnati. Washington took the series two games to one and is now a season-high 12 games better than .500.

Strasburg, in 10 starts on the road, has pitched 58.1 innings and given up 69 hits while opponents have hit .300 against him.

In 12 starts at home, Strasburg has thrown 79 innings and allowed 74 hits while opponents have batted .242 against him.

No one with the Nationals seems to have an explanation for why Strasburg, the first-round pick out of San Diego State, has struggled on the road this season. He has had problems with the Marlins this year as well: in two starts he is 1-1 with an ERA of 5.91.

Miami outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has three homers and eight RBIs with an average of .346 during 26 at bats against Strasburg. Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, in eight at bats against Strasburg, is hitting .625 with a homer.

In his last start, at Colorado July 23, Strasburg gave up three runs in the first inning and ended up allowing four runs and nine hits in 5.1 innings during the loss as his record fell to 7-8 overall with an ERA of 3.67.

"With the exception of the first inning he was pretty good," manager Matt Williams told the Nationals' radio network.

In 22 starts overall, Strasburg has fanned 163 batters in 137.1 innings while batters have an average of .267 against him.

The probable starters for the first game of the series July 29 in Miami are Washington right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (6-5, 3.20 ERA) against Marlins' right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (5-6, 4.20).

Strasburg will face Henderson Alvarez (7-5, 2.62) in the second game of the series in Miami.

The starters for the third and last game of the series July 30 are Washington right-hander Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.82) against Marlins' lefty Brad Hand (2-2, 4.19).

NOTES: Washington begins a four-game series at home July 31 with Philadelphia. … The Nationals are 30-20 at home this year and 27-25 on the road. … Jeff Baker, who graduated from Gar-Field High in Woodbridge, Va., is an infielder for the Marlins.