MLB San Diego State Aztecs
Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitches during a game between the Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies, on September 26, 2019, at Nationals Park, in Washington D.C. Photo credit: Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire

Former San Diego State star Stephen Strasburg makes his first appearance in the National League Championship Series Monday as he starts Game 3 when his Washington Nationals take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Strasburg is coming off three strong performances, against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Nationals eliminated both teams, in the NL Wild-Card Game and the Division Series.

He helped seal the Dodgers’ fate last Wednesday when he pitched six innings, allowing three runs and striking out seven. He gave up the runs early, and aided by solid relief pitching, held off the Dodgers long enough for the Nationals’ extra-inning comeback victory in the series clincher.

“When he’s on the mound. he’s as good as anybody in the game,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told MLB.com.

Overall, he has a 1.45 ERA in five playoff starts.

He faces Jack Flaherty of the Cards Monday. The Nationals lead the series 2-0.

Strasburg and fellow starters Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin make a formidable trio. At the close of the season, they ranked in the top 5 in the league in strikeouts and the top 10 in earned run average.

Strasburg played baseball at San Diego State until 2009, when the Nationals drafted him.

– Staff reports

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