Strasburg’s Debut: An Observation and a Link Dump

Well, Strasburg has sure been impressive in his first seven innings.  He did surrender a 2-run home run to Delwyn Young, but he also struck out 14 (count ’em, fourteen!) over 7 IP, including striking out the side in his last inning of work.  He had 4 H allowed–none over his last three innings of work–and no walks.  

In a word: Impressive.  
He was touching 97-100 on the fastball, consistently at 97 and 98.  His changeup–changeup!–was in at 88-90, for goodness’ sake!  And what a curveball!  

Like I said: Most impressive.  95 pitches, 65 of them for strikes (so 68% for strikes vs. the Major League average of 58-60% strikes).  Most Impressive.
Jay Mariotti discusses how much pressure Strasburg faces from media scrutiny, asking that he be given some “room to breathe”:
Forgive me if I don’t envy the kid. When he pitches Tuesday evening in front of a rare home sellout crowd, it will be the most scrutinized debut in the sport’s history, given the intensity and magnitude of media in the 21st century. There have been ballyhooed breakout parties for pitching phenoms, from Mark Prior to Roger Clemens to David Clyde way back when, but no one has had to carry a larger burden for a franchise, a city and his own future. Basically, Strasburg is expected to kick-start and rescue a dead franchise, popularize baseball in D.C. and coax the man in the Oval Office to attend Nationals games, something President Obama has been reluctant to do in his Chicago White Sox cap and jacket. In due time, Strasburg will have help in the hype department from Bryce Harper, the No, 1 pick in Monday’s draft, who is projected as a prodigious slugger in Washington if he can overcome his immaturity and ample ego. For now, it’s all on Strasburg.

Can we give him some room to breathe and grow, please?
The Sporting News wonders if Strasburg is the next Mark Prior (Ye Baseball Gods Above!  I sure hope not: I want to see this guy pitch for a while!)
The Daily Pitch at USA Today kind of summarizes the baseball Zeitgeist without adding anything particularly unique (kind of like me and I work for free); oh fine: the post informs us that Nationals fans are lapping up tickets and merchandise:

A StubHub spokesman said the average ticket was selling for $67.

Based on advance sales of not only tickets
but Strasburg merchandise
, the good people of Washington are
obviously convinced that Strasburg is not a 21st century version of Pete Broberg or
David Clyde

The New York Times pitches in with another “Strasburg Era Begins” thing (I know, I know, puns are the lowest form of humor except when they’re not).  Author Tyler Kepner emphasizes Strasburg’s non-cockiness:
From a look at him in April, this much seems certain: Strasburg himself will be unimpressed. And that, as much as his physical tools, should give Nationals fans hope. By all accounts, Strasburg is a pitcher who is not easily satisfied.
And Dave Cameron writes about the rookie’s debut at FanGraphs.  For the record, Strasburg’s Game Score calculates out to 75.
Professional Nationals-watcher Mark Zuckerman is/was at the game and says that the stadium has been buzzing since mid-afternoon.
Oh, game over, Capps saves it, and the National win.  Strasburg gets a win in his Major League debut, putting on a pretty dominating performance.  Nice way to start your career, kid.

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