Stephen Strasburg Strikes Out Fourteen Batters In Debut

Posted: June 9, 2010 in Uncategorized
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Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals made his highly anticipated debut last night and he didn’t disappoint. He pitched seven innings, gave up four hits, two earn runs, and struck out fourteen.  What was really impressive is that he had zero walks.  For a rookie pitcher to be able to allow no walks in his very first major league start shows a lot of poise and control.

            Strasburg has been one of the most hyped baseball players in recent history.  Each and everyone one of his eleven minor league starts have gained tons of attention along with a lot of scrutiny.  This hype however began long before he stepped on a minor league mound.  He first gained notoriety while pitching for the San Diego State Aztecs. There he was known as the guy who threw fastballs at 100 miles per hour with ease and had possessed an incredible breaking ball.  It seemed liked he was toying with the collegiate athletes at times by seemingly throwing with ease.

 All of this culminated to a first overall selection by the Washington Nationals in last year’s draft.  Many experts thought that Strasburg was ready to start in the major leagues right away, however the Nationals thought that it would better for him to work in the minor leagues for a while before bringing him up to the majors.  In his eleven starts in the minor leagues he was 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA, with 65 strikeouts and had only 13 walks.

All of this lead up to last nights game with a sold out crowd on hand to watch Strasburg’s first start. For at least one night he exceeded expectations.  To strikeout fourteen major league batters in your very first major league start is impressive.  Within those strikeouts he seemed to over match the Pittsburgh Pirates with high 90s fastballs with movement and breaking pitches that buckled the knees of some of their batters.

Strasburg pitched a phenomenal game, however before he is anointed the best pitcher in baseball and before he is put in the baseball hall of fame can we just see how he pitches in his next start and for the rest of the season?  As a sports society we are so quick to put the “best” title on someone before they can establish themselves.  Please let’s allow Strasburg to have at least a few more starts before we drool all over him. 

 He had a very good game, but to play devil’s advocate for a second he did face the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Coming into last night’s game they were statistically the worst offensive team in the majors.  So it wasn’t like he faced the Yankees or the Red Sox.  The Pirates right now are the equivalent of a minor team and they didn’t pose as too much of a threat to him.  Regardless of whom he faced last night he pitched really good.  His next start is against the Cleveland Indians and only time will tell just how good Strasburg will be.


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