After Stephen Strasburg's previous start, when the Washington Nationals had blown what appeared to be an insurmountable lead, Manager Davey Johnson had pointed words for his 24-year-old ace. Johnson said Strasburg wasted pitches. He said he needed more trust in his stuff. He said, essentially, that Strasburg needed to grasp how great he is.

Wednesday afternoon, Strasburg climbed the mound at Citi Field and delivered a start beyond reproach. As the Nationals finished their three-game disassembling of the reeling New York Mets, Strasburg led them to a 5-2 victory with perhaps his finest start of the season, a seven-inning, 11-strikeout masterwork. Michael Morse, Danny Espinosa and Adam LaRoche each ripped a home run, but Strasburg owned the game.