It's not often that a Tuesday night game between the Washington Nationals and the Pittsburgh Pirates is the talk of baseball.
But tonight marks the MLB debut of Stephen Strasburg almost a year to the day he was the number one pick in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals.
Strasburg has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the minor leagues. Perhaps too meteoric. The Nats are in last place in the NL East (albeit only six games back of the Atlanta Braves) and need people to fill seats in Nationals Park.
I don't deny that Strasburg has tremendous talent and could very well become a good major league pitcher. But to treat him like he's the second coming of Sandy Koufax is a bit much.
So here's my prediction. Strasburg will pitch four and two thirds innings, give up seven runs on ten hits. Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit will hit two homeruns off of Strasburg. He'll strike out five batters and walk two. Final score: Pirates 10 Nationals 7.
The Baltimore Sun is a tad more optimistic.
We'll see in about an hour or so.
UPDATE: Well, Doumit isn't in the starting lineup for the Bucs. But I do think Andrew McCutchen and ex-Nat Lastings Milledge will go deep off Strasburg. Again, we'll see.