Blog Entry

Strasburg dazzles in return

Posted on: September 6, 2011 9:13 pm
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Stephen Strasburg

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Our own Danny Knobler will have more from Washington later, but if you missed it -- Stephen Strasburg didn't disappoint in his return from Tommy John surgery. In his first start in the majors just days after the anniversary of his surgery, Strasburg was dominant, throwing five shutout innings, allowing two hits, no walks and striking out four.

As impressive as the results were, so too were the brush strokes on the masterpiece -- a fastball that was clocked as high as 99 mph, the same knee-buckling curveball we saw last year and the change up that can make anyone looking for heat look silly. As many words as have been used to describe Strasburg, they all seem apt.

Last season his debut dress both viewers and raves. Strasmas went from a one-time event to a traveling carnival, and even if he didn't live up to the billing in every start, nobody walked away not understanding that the hype was justified.

Tuesday was no different.

Many pitchers have come back from Tommy John surgery, so coming back soon and even better isn't unheard of at this point. However, for most pitchers coming back requires the search for their old release point and control. In Strasburg's return, he had 14 first-pitch strikes to the 17 batters he faced and didn't seem to have an errant pitch. And that's what's always been so impressive about Strasburg, it's not just the stuff, but the command. He knows he can overpower a batter and also trick them. Set up for one and you set up for failure. 

In the fourth inning, one of baseball's best, Matt Kemp, watched two strikes and a ball all at 96 mph or better and then went after a 90 mph two-seam fastball that darted down below the zone that had Kemp flailing at it for the third strike and Strasburg's third strikeout of the night.

In all, Strasburg threw 56 pitches, 40 for strikes. He gave up a leadoff double to Dodgers rookie Dee Gordon to lead off the game (on what would have been a single for anyone with mere human speed) before retiring the next 11 batters he faced. The only other hit was a grounder by Juan Rivera that shortstop Ian Desmond got a glove on, but couldn't corral.

There will be bumps along the way, that's what baseball's all about. But Tuesday wasn't one of those bumps, instead it was a triumph, one of many seemingly to come.

If everything pans out for the Nationals -- which of course will always be a huge if -- the one thing Strasburg brings is not only an ace, but maybe something just a tad more  -- that ace that isn't swayed by an stage or any spotlight. Strasburg's entire career has been in the spotlight, one that has been bright and hasn't bothered him a bit.

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Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 6:58 pm
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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 11:46 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 2:11 am
 

Strasburg dazzles in return

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Since: Oct 6, 2009
Posted on: September 7, 2011 2:30 pm
 

Strasburg dazzles in return

Glad to see Strasburg back and bringing it once again.  Watched him pitch last year on TV and he seems to have an understanding on how to pitch as well as having the stuff to do what he needs.  14 of 17 first pitch strikes does nothing but help a pitcher out, especially if the other team is swinging through those pitches.  I'm hopeful his arm holds up to the tremendous force that it has to endure.  If nothing else it appears that the Nationals can market Strasburg since Werth has struggled so mightily this year.



Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: September 7, 2011 2:30 pm
 

Strasburg dazzles in return

It was a shame in this game, where both starters pitched well (one extremely well), that the bullpens failed so miserably.  Neither SP could capitalize on hard work where their support was clearly inferior.  Simply pathetic.




Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:27 am
 

Strasburg dazzles in return

Strasmas... you know, like ChristMAS. Don't be such a fool. I know some of the writing on here is sloppy, but unless you were in a snooze all of last summer, you probably already heard of the word. Don't tell me you honestly thought it should have said "Strasburg went from a one-time event..." You thought it was calling a person an event? It might be time to re-enroll at the local CC and finish off that English class you quit on.



Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:24 am
 

Strasburg dazzles in return

I bet Liriano wishes his surgery had been that successful.



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:14 am
 

Strasburg dazzles in return

"Last season his debut dress both viewers and raves. Strasmas went from a one-time event to a traveling carnival, and even if he didn't live up to the billing in every start, nobody walked away not understanding that the hype was justified."

Who writes this gibberish? Strasmas? Who's that? His debut dress?

Don't they edit this stuff before it goes up?



Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: September 7, 2011 9:10 am
 

Strasburg dazzles in return

Such a pleasure to see him return...and again, with promise.  Great command and posture.  I hopefully can look forward to watching him mature into the cornerstone of their franchise.  As a Phillies fan, I've been waiting for the Nationals to break through and be competitive in the NL East instead of a boderline farm team for the Yankees or Red Sox as the Expos were in years past.  They are almost there and Strasburg can only help. 



Since: Jan 11, 2008
Posted on: September 7, 2011 1:19 am
 

Strasburg dazzles in return

Astounding, the command. I wish him well on his return. What was his rehb? I wish Liriano could have returned to his pre-injury form, at any time, much less within a year of surgery. He's never gotten his command back. Maybe his is partly in his head? Strasburg sounds like not just a physical talent, but a mental one as well.


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