Although posting a losing record with the Washington Nationals, Stephen Strasburg has never pitched better as a pro

Stephen Strasburg is the man in “the District.”

Yielding only one run and whiffing nine Philadelphia batters over eight innings, Nationals flamethrower Stephen Strasburg was brilliant in a 6-1 victory over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon in Washington.

Despite posting a losing record, the 24-year-old Strasburg (3-5, 2.49 ERA) has dominated on the hill this season.

“The last two starts are probably the best we’ve seen him since we’ve been here in the big leagues,” said Washington shortstop Ian Desmond. “Obviously the punch-outs and all the stuff that came before are great, but he’s starting to figure it out on another level. He’s a young guy growing up.”

Sitting five games behind the scorching Braves (30-18) in the National League East, Washington (26-24) will ultimately overtake Atlanta largely on the strength of Strasburg’s right arm.

Finally competing without asinine restrictions, Strasburg has gone 24-15 with 384 strikeouts and a 2.84 ERA since debuting with the Nationals in June 2010.

Already visiting the disabled list and undergoing Tommy John Surgery, a healthy Strasburg is the type of hurler who can stifle any lineup and lead a team to glory.

A 2012 All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner, Strasburg was called by Sports Illustrated the “most hyped and closely watched pitching prospect in the history of baseball.”

Unfortunately for Nationals fans, although flourishing during a rare playoff run, general manager Mike Rizzo shutdown Strasburg last September following 159 1/3 innings of work.

Wrongly forced to sit in the dugout like a bat cave, the first overall selection in the 2009 draft watched Washington fold to the St. Louis Cardinals in October’s NLDS.

No longer restrained by Rizzo, Strasburg will continue “growing up” on the diamond this summer.

Throwing “on another level,” Stephen Strasburg could help guide the Washington Nationals to their first World Series title this autumn.

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