In 2013 Stephen Strasburg swapped his exasperating innings limit for a series of minor calamities controversies and oddities some within his control and some not. What remained was the gnawing perhaps unfair sense that his frequent excellence remains a tease for what he can become. “He’s good” catcher Wilson Ramos said. “And he will be better.”

The Washington Nationals allowed Strasburg to keep pitching until the end this year and his season ended Friday night at Chase Field with an 8-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Strasburg allowed two runs over seven innings and finished his season by retiring 13 of the final 15 batters he faced. He found early trouble righted himself and cruised to the end.

At age 25 even with a brief trip to the disabled list Strasburg submitted an impressive season. Strasburg went 8-9 pitched 183 innings — 232 / 3 more than his truncated 2012 season — and punched up a 3.00 ERA with 191 strikeouts 56 walks and 136 hits allowed. His fourth big league season was his first full season. It still felt like a transition episode the bridge between his shutdown and the full-blown ace he can become.

“I think he’s had a better year” Manager Davey Johnson said. “He’s learned more about himself. I think at times last year he was trying to be too much of a strikeout pitcher. At times he did that this year overthrowing a little bit. But he’s just a really good pitcher that has tremendous command. He’s still very young. I think it’s been a good year for him. It’s also been a learning year.”

Strasburg received some of the worst run support in the majors this season but the Nationals’ lineup bolstered him Friday night against Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin. Strasburg fell behind 2-0 in the third. Bryce Harper smashed an RBI double in the fourth. In the fifth Jayson Werth provided the most important and impressive blow. He broke a 2-2 tie with a three-run homer off the face of the upper deck in left his 25th of the season. Ramos smashed a towering three-run shot of his own to seal the game in the eighth.

The Nationals’ outburst helped Strasburg cruise to his eighth win. He entered the season with the ambition of becoming the staff workhorse and he took another step Friday night. He pitched at least seven innings for the 16th time in his 30 starts. Last season Strasburg pitched seven innings only five times in 28 starts.