Being a season ticket holder to the Atlanta Braves is paying straight dividends for the 2010 season. I watched Jason Heyward pummel a home run for his first major league hit on opening day, the amazing come from behind victory over Cincinnati, compliments of Brooks Conrad's walk-off grand slam and as the Braves took first place, we celebrated just as drunken baseball fans should. Last night was one of those nights! With Stephen Strasburg making his fifth major league start, second road start, I wanted a front row seat. I think everyone in Atlanta was thinking the same thing. The place was packed.
Everywhere I went at the stadium I kept hearing the same thing, Strasburg! In line for beer: Strasburg. Smoking a cigarette: Strasburg. It was a complete Strasburg hard-on fest! The feeling was mixed. People wanted to see him succeed and the rest wanted to see him fail. That's what makes a player like Strasburg so great for baseball. Everyone was there to see him!
I witnessed something last night at Turner Field that I've never witnessed before. The fans in Atlanta are far from your battery throwing, first base coach ass whipping fans that other parks are blessed with. It seems to take a little more to get the stands fired up with excitement. Every time Strasburg prepared to throw the place got loud. It's like they were testing him. The longer he pitched the louder they got. Its like everyone in the stadium wanted to see what he could do when the pressure was on.
He pitched a great game but, unfortunately it takes more then a great outing to win a ballgame. I go to Turner Field enough to know how to get away with seat jumping. For the entire 5th, 6th and 7th innings, I managed to get about 10 rows behind home plate for the only offensive gain of the game. This kid is impressive. I can't help to wonder though, if the fans in Atlanta can get that loud for 1-1, 1 out pitch, then he's gonna have some tough road trips pitching in places with rabid fans like New York, Chicago and Philly.
The guy is Strasburg! No nickname needed. He needs to come out to the mound with Goldbergs entrance music and let the crowd chant his name the same way. STRAAAASBURG, STRAAAASBURG, STRAAAASBURG!
If Strasburg is coming to your town, buy a ticket!