Stephen Strasburg was exceptional Tuesday night. How exceptional? Martin Prado, one of the Braves' best hitters, was so baffled by a curveball that he literally backed away from the box as it arrived, only to watch it for strike three. And he wasn't alone.

"When he throws that curveball like that, I mean, that's a whole new dimension," said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. "And his changeup is really a strikeout pitch -- that and the fastball.

"I mean you don't see big league hitters very often pull back. You saw that several times tonight. That's how electric his stuff was. If I'd have hooked him after five, after he punched out the side, I think the whole stadium would have been wanting to string me up."