Monday, June 28, 2010

Strasburg Takes The Show To Atlanta

Strasburg-Mania goes on the road for just the second time this season when it whips through Atlanta like tornado through your mom's trailer park. Strasburg will make his fifth start and try to rebound after suffering his first loss while pitching 6 innings, striking out 9, walking zero and giving up 1 earned against the Royals. Nice work on the run support, Nats. Now he can only go 400-1. Pfft. I like how his first two road start came against the Indians and now the Braves. Coincidence or is Riggleman racist against Native American?

Strikeouts and Walks
The Bravos are actually right in the middle of the pack when it comes to striking out. The surprising, to me, fact is the Braves lead the league in walks by over 20. That will be something to watch for tonight. Strasburg has walked 5 batters in his 4 starts and they all came on the road against Cleveland.

Phenom vs. Phenom
Unfortunately, the Phenom versus Phenom match up will have to wait. Coming into this season, Strasburg and Jason Heyward were the top two prospects in baseball according to Baseball America. Heyward has been holding up his part of the bargain. Already one of the Braves' best players, Heyward has 11 home runs while hitting .251/.366/.455 as a 20-year-old. But Heyward has a thumb injury that will keep him from hitting against Strasburg tonight. It's a shame because Heyward has a Platinum Sombrero and a Golden Sombrero this season. The strikeout potential had me giddy.

Off Base Coverage
As you know by now, I gots the Strasburg fever. So you can join me over at Twitter and take shots with me every time Strasburg strikes someone out swinging. We also hope to have a guest writer covering the game live tonight. He drinks a lot of beer so only half of the post might be in coherent English but it should be entertaining nonetheless. Look for that tomorrow.


  1. Punk bitch Strasburg looked only OK against Hudson and the boys tonight. I talked to Prado last night at a charity event and asked him to show that rookie who ruled this division. Apparently word got around in the Braves dugout, as well as the entire stadium. Crowd was into the game more than about any game I have ever been to at the Ted. I totally "marked out" when Strasburg got pulled early. A good pitcher with a promising career and HOF potential..ok, I will give you that. But the second coming of Jesus? I think not, sports bloggers. Put it back in your shorts, it just got laughed at for not being as "impressive" as you made it out to be.

  2. I'm a sports blogger. I never have shorts or pants on. It's my job to hyperbole Strasburg. And if "only OK" is giving up 2 runs while striking out 7, 5 in a row, I'm ashamed of my 1992 wiffle ball summer when I struck out 3 girls and only threw the ball over the fence once in one game. I'd hate to give that trophy back.

  3. By "Sports Bloggers", I meant everyone from the high paid reporters at ESPN to the pimple-faced kid writing his article at the local library computer. My problem with the whole situation is that if I knew absolutely nothing about baseball whatsover (I know a little), I would know that Stephen Strasburg is the only player in the history of the game that can turn water into wine.

    He has only had 5 starts, with his 2 wins against bad teams with a bunch of run support. He was arguably good enough to have another win or even two against the White Sox and Royals, but he couldn't out-pitch Gavin Floyd or Brian Bannister. Those guys earned the wins for their team because they were, quite simply, better than Strasburg. Bottom line here is that he ONLY HAS 5 STARTS. He is not "the man" just yet. I even read the other day that he is being considered for the 2010 All-Star game, which is completely ridiculous.

    But back to last night's performance. He didn't give up 2 runs, he gave up 4 with 3 earned. But fabricated number / bad research aside, let me provide a list of other pitchers last night that were equally as good or better than Strasburg...

    Ricky Romero (TOR)
    Jake Westbrook (CLE)
    Anthony Lerew (KC)
    Ricky Nolasco (FLA)
    Johnny Cueto (CIN)
    Tim Hudson (ATL)
    Paul Maholm (PIT)
    Randy Wells (CHC)
    Chris Carpenter (STL)
    Chad Billingsley (LAD)
    Barry Zito (SF)

    Do you know every single one of those guys? Yeah, me neither. But they all received "quality starts" with similar or better statistical numbers than Saint Strasburg on Monday night.

    Let's face it... today, he is a good pitcher. But greatness? We will all just need to stay tuned on that one. I am not ready to hand him the keys to Cooperstown just yet.

  4. How dare you bring up small sample size around here. I think you're missing my point. Of course he's overhyped. Every prospect is nowadays. It's especially easy with Strasburg because he throws 100 mph and he struck out 14 hitters in his debut and he signed for a record amount. Of course every media outlet is going to cover him and hype him. He drives ratings/pageviews. It's fun to get swept up in the buzz. It's just like Fernando Mania or Doc Gooden, I suppose. Look, I could sit around all day and write about his FIP or tERA or xFIP or WAR but you can go to Fangraphs for that. I'm going to continue to hyperbolize Strasburg and make jokes about him turning Gatorade into booze and curing herpes with fastball. By the way, his xFIP is absurd. Better than Johnson, Jimenez, Halladay.

  5. I will give a rip about Strasburg after he leaves the Washington "lets-move-and-change-our-name-to-make-people-forget-that-we-are-still-the-Montreal-Expos" Nationals.

    Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Andres Galarraga, Larry Walker, Andre Dawson, Vlad Guerrero, Gary Carter, Tim Raines... They all have 3 things in common:
    1) They all will at least make it to a HOF ballot, if not inducted.
    2) They are all former Montreal Expos.
    3) Out of the above players that get inducted, none will enter the Hall as an Expo.