"They didn't prove that they could hit my fastball, so I wasn't going to throw any changeups to possibly make a mistake." --Stephen Strasburg after defeating the Florida Marlins. 

THE RESULT:  Stephen Strasburg shook off some early rust to complete six shutout inning, and Josh Willingham came though with a big hit to lead the Washington Nationals over the Florida Marlins, 4-0, before 27,037 as Sun Life Stadium in Miami.  It was the smallest crowd to see Strasburg pitch this season.

The win increases the Nats record to 40-50.

Strasburg had his troubles early.  He allowed two baserunners in each of the first three innings, walking three and throwing the first wild pitch of his career.  But he got out of the jams that he worked himself into, and went six full without giving up a run.

He gave up four hits and three walks, striking out seven in the appearance.

In the first inning -- which took 35 pitches to get through -- he walked a pair, including first baseman Gaby Sanchez after a 12-pitch at bat.  He got Jorge Cantu to fly out to right field with two on for the final out.

He gave up singles to Cody Ross and Ronny Paulino at the bottom of the Marlins order in the second inning.  But a one-out sacrifice by the pitcher and ground out by leadoff hitter Chris Coghlan got Strasburg out of that inning.

Strasburg (W, 4-2, 2.03) walked Hanley Ramirez on four pitches with one out in the third, but Ivan Rodriguez caught him attempting a steal.  Dan Uggla followed that with another single, but again Cantu flied out to end the inning.

The big right-hander was perfect in the fourth and fifth despite a growing pitch count, and managed to get through the sixth allowing just an infield single to Ramirez.  He finished his evening striking out Cody Ross to end the frame.

Strasburg retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced and departed after throwing 99 pitches.

Drew Storen and Matt Capps combined for three hitless innings of relief to secure the win.

Josh Willingham had the big blow for the Nats.  His three-run double broke open a scoreless game in the sixth inning.  Rodriguez drove in Willingham with a sacrifice to complete the scoring.

THE GOOD:  Strasburg.  Six shutout innings is good.  He's throwing too many pitches early though and had some trouble with his fastball command in the first two innings.  Adam Dunn went 2-for-3 and Hammer had the big hit when they needed it.

THE BAD:  Roger Bernadina went 0-for-4.

THE UGLY:  We'll give ugly a pass tonight.

THE STATS:  The Nats went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base.  They struck out nine times and walked just once.

NEXT GAME:  Saturday at 7:10 pm against the Florida Marlins.  RHP Livan Hernandez (6-5) v. RHP Josh Johnson (9-3)