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