Stephen Strasburg, the young Washington Nationals rookie pitcher has been mowing down big league batters since he got his first cup of coffee and took the mound in The Show. His debut saw 14 batters mowed down, and he hasn’t stopped mowing since.
Strasburg is striking out big league batters as if they’re little leaguers. In just five career starts, Strasburg has already recorded 41 strikeouts. In fact, at 41 strikeouts he’s already broke the record for most strikeouts in a pitchers first four starts, that honor was previously held by Herb Score, who set the record at 40 in 1955. It’s not like teams are scoring off the kid either, Strasburg has a sparkling ERA of 1.78. In his five starts, he’s only allowed only 5 runs, you would think he’d be undefeated on the season. Instead, the Washington Nationals have found ways to lose baseball games despite Strasburg’s dominance. The one loss on Strasburg’s record, came in a game in which the Nationals lost 1-0. It was a game in which Strasburg recorded his first base hit, unfortunately, it was pretty much all the offense the Nationals could muster.
The thing that worries me as a baseball fan is that a kid so talented like Strasburg could lose his confidence from playing on such a shitty team. He’s a young kid and losing is always the hardest thing for a young a pitcher to handle. The other thing you don’t want to see is a good pitcher like Strasburg buried on a losing team for the best years of his career. We’ ve all seen it happen before where a pitcher goes years winning 15-17 games a season, while he probably would have been winning 20 and getting Cy Youngs if he played on a team worth their salt. I saw it happen to greatest pitcher in big leagues, Roy Halladay when he played for the Jays. You look back on Roy’s career and there were years where he pitched well enough to win 20 plus games if only his team could have given him some run support or if only his bullpen hadn’t been second rate. I’d really hate to see that happen to Strasburg on the Nationals.
I know it’s way too early to give Strasburg legendary props, but I will say he does remind me of Nolan Ryan or a Randy Johnson, but with better off speed stuff than both of those guys. His fastball is lively, he throws a lot of strikes and he’s guaranteed to give his team a chance to win any baseball game he pitches in. Strasburg has even caught oddsmakers eyes who favored the Washington Nationals at -260 in a game against Kansas City. Read more.
Now the Kansas City Royals aren’t the New York Yankees, but for the lowly Washington Nationals to be favored that heavily just because Strasburg is on the hill, says a lot about what people who know baseball think of the kid. In just 5 starts, he’s already one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. Now, if only the Nationals could score some runs.