DENVER -- Stephen Strasburg has been so dominant for much of the 2016 season that it would be unusual for him to struggle at all -- especially the way he did in Wednesday afternoon's 12-10 loss to the Rockies. He had perhaps the worst start of his career, allowing a career-high nine runs in 1 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.
"Couldn't get anybody out," Strasburg said. "I don't know. It felt pretty good coming out of the hand. Looking back on the tape, I feel like they hit some good pitches. Just didn't have it today."
It was the third consecutive poor outing from Strasburg, who has now allowed 19 runs in his past 11 2/3 innings. His ERA has ballooned from 2.63 on Aug. 6 to 3.59. Yet, Nationals manager Dusty Baker considered it just a bad stretch in an otherwise strong season for Strasburg.
Baker said he did not have concerns -- health- or performance-wise. He pointed to Strasburg's velocity, which was still normal despite his recent struggles, as reason to believe he is healthy.
"You got to put them behind you, and you got to quit counting," Baker said. "That's No. 1, because if you don't quit counting, then it goes to four and five and gets in your head. … He'll get it together."
Strasburg began the season by winning his first 13 decisions with an ERA in the mid-2.00s, building anticipation that perhaps he could secure his first Cy Young Award.
"We're all human beings here. We all make mistakes," Strasburg said. "I don't need to change anything. I need to keep going, I need to keep grinding, and the odds are going to be in my favor. They just weren't today."
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.