Stephen Strasburg entered Thursday’s matinee against the Marlins with a 6.10 ERA after two starts, and just a day after the Nationals’ bullpen was needed for over seven innings. He was also facing a Marlins team who, even in their lowest moments, seem to give him trouble.

Fortunately for the Nationals - as they head into a road series against the Braves - Strasburg was exceptionally sharp, carving up the Marlins’ lineup for 6 2/3 innings with 12 strikeouts along the way. He has now tossed double digit Ks in 13 career outings, two of them already coming this season.

Strasburg took advantage of an aggressive approach by the Marlins to consistently begin counts with strike one. He worked primarily with his fastball and changeup, only throwing seven curveballs out of his 98 total pitches.

“You want to get anybody as a hitter in swing mode and get them looking for fastball and throw them something else,” manager Matt Williams said.

“But you have to establish that first, and he did that today. It's 95-plus, and it's got a little movement, and then when he can throw his changeup off of it, it looks like a fastball coming out of his hand. And it's got some depth to it, so you end up swinging over the top of it. He was really good, pounding the zone.”

Strasburg brought to the mound some adjustments he had discussed with shortstop Ian Desmond in recent days. Desmond was happy to see them pay off.