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Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 2 - A Ball on Capitol Hill

Today's finale in Washington, the matchup of Patrick Corbin vs Stephen Strasburg, was billed as a young pitchers' duel, and so it was.

Capitol, Hill!
Capitol, Hill!

Record: 42-36. Pace: 87-75. Change on 2012: +3. NL West: +3.5

Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg, not quite a Matchup For The Ages, but pretty close! The two matched each other nearly batter for batter, with Corbin striking out more and allowing fewer base-runners overall. He'd given up three hits in the first four innings, but fell behind in the 5th. He gave up his first walk to Adam LaRoche, and that was followed by a two-run home run by Ian Desmond to put the Natinals Nationals ahead.

The Diamondbacks had three hits through their first five innings, and then in the 6th, they scored in the same way as Washington. Corbin singled to lead off the inning, and with one out, Aaron Hill smacked a two-run home run of his own to the same left-field bullpen as Desmond. It was Hill's first home run since returning from the disabled list. Strasburg almost looked like he was going to implode, as he gave up an infield single and then a walk to put two more runners on base, but Arizona couldn't capitalize.

Neither could they score in the 7th or 8th innings to give Patrick Corbin his 10th win. His final line tonight: 7IP, 5H, 2R, 2BB, 6K, 1 HR. Strasburg's final line: 7IP, 6H, 2R, 2B, 4K, 1HR. If that's not a good match-up, I don't know what is. Defense also played a big role, with Cliff Pennington making two bare-handed throws from third base and Paul Goldschmidt saving a run on a sharp play at first.

Then came the relievers, who all came in and did their jobs. In the 8th, Drew Storen struck out all three Diamondbacks he faced, and Brad Ziegler allowed a single. Arizona got two singles in the 9th, but couldn't capitalize, and then David Hernandez went out and struck out all three Nationals he faced. Eric Hinske led off the 10th with a walk but the runner didn't advance past second base. Josh Collmenter worked around a one-out single in his half of the inning to send it to the 11th, and that's when Arizona took the lead.

First up was Miguel Montero, who hit a ground rule double over the center field wall. With pinch-runner A.J. Pollock at third and Jason Kubel at first with one out, Didi Gregorius laid down the perfect safety squeeze bunt single for a base hit. Hey, I would've been happy if he would've just stayed out of the double-play, but that worked too! Pollock scored to put Arizona up 3-2. The runners, unfortunately, were stranded by strikeouts by Pennington and Wil Nieves, so the lead was only one run going into the bottom half of the inning.

And, yes, Heath Bell was brought in for the save. Bell, he of five home runs in his last five games, where a home run here would be, at best, a blown save. But, the mechanical adjustments worked, at least for tonight. He gave up a one-out single to Adam LaRoche (who was 2-for-3 plus two walks) and a would-be double play was bobbled by Hill, but Bell was efficient and nailed down the win in the finale in Washington.

Source: FanGraphs

Washington Moument: H Bell, +18.5%, M Montero, +17.4%
Lincoln Memorial: D Gregorius, +12.5% (and three pitchers at +12.8%)
Foggy Bottom: G Parra, -14.7%

It was a happenin' GDT today, partly boosted by limited discussion of the NBA draft. (There is a Suns blog! :P) TolkienBard was your leader over hotclaws by nearly double. All present were: 4 Corners Fan, AzDbackfanInDc, AzRattler, Baseballdad, Clefo, Dallas D'Back Fan, Diamondhacks, Fangdango, Gildo, GuruB, Jim McLennan, JoeCB1991, KaileyCyrus, Lozenge, PR151, Paper Clip, Rockkstarr12, SenSurround, The so-called Beautiful, TolkienBard, Turambar, Zavada's Moustache, asteroid, azshadowwalker, blank_38, grimmy01, hotclaws, imstillhungry95, onedotfive, porty99, preston.salisbury, rd33, since_98, and snakecharmer.

The team continues their east coast road trip with a weekend in Hotlanta. Kishi has your coverage tomorrow night!