MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Stras appears to be regaining his ace form

On mound for Game 1 of doubleheader, Nats righty fans nine in victory

Stras appears to be regaining his ace form

PHILADELPHIA -- Whatever mechanical issues Stephen Strasburg may have had, they are in the past. The proof came during the Nationals' 3-2 victory over the Phillies in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park.

Strasburg was solid in his second outing since coming off the disabled list. He pitched at least seven innings for the first time since April 19 against the Phillies, as he allowed two runs on four hits, while striking out nine batters.

At one point during the game, Strasburg looked like his old self, striking out five of six batters. He said he was working off his fastball.

"[My] fastball command was good. The changeup is starting to come back to me and I'm executing it a lot better. The curveball was there, too," Strasburg said. "It's good trying to get into a routine. Everything is feeling good. I'm going to stick to the program and keep moving forward."

Manager Matt Williams said there were no restrictions when it came to Strasburg, whose fastball was clocked as high as 97 miles per hour. Williams liked the fact that Strasburg was strong up until his last pitch of the game.

"He pitched great. No restrictions up to 110 pitches. Good fastball, even in the last inning. Made a good pitch to get out of it," Williams said. "It's nice that he's healthy. That's nice that he's going out there and had no issues. When he doesn't, that could be the result."

Teammate Ian Desmond saw a difference in Strasburg from how he pitched earlier in the season.

"It looks like he is in control of his body and the ball," Desmond said. "It looks like he has a plan out there and [he's] sticking with it. [Before the last two starts], he kind of lost focus on what he wanted to do. In the last two outings, he has been dominating his game plan. He is not worrying about what the hitters are doing. That's a big part of pitching."

Since coming off the disabled list and fixing his mechanics, Strasburg has allowed one run over 12 innings and lowered his ERA to 5.49.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.