Sunday, June 13, 2010

Strasburg Wins Second Start Despite Five Walks

Stephen Strasburg is now 2-0 in the big leagues.

Strasburg was not as spectacular as his MLB debut against the Pirates on Tuesday. However, the Washington Nationals defeated the Cleveland Indians 9-4 to give Strasburg his second big league victory.

In his debut against the Bucs, Strasburg struck out 14 without walking a single batter in seven innings pitched. While Strasburg did strike out eight batters he also walked five batters over five and one thirds innings pitched.

The big problem was the mound in Progressive Field. As the game wore on Strasburg kept slipping on the landing spot on the mound. It might not sound like much but if the surface of the mound is slippery you can injure your heel, ankle or knee. A pitcher uses his legs to generate power and to control where the ball is going. If you have an uneven and unsteady surface it can be trouble.

At Strasburg's request, the umpires asked the grounds crew to fix the mound on two occasions during the game. Nationals manager Jim Rigglemann took Strasburg out of the game in the sixth inning after he loaded the bases. Strasburg surrendered a single to rookie catcher Carlos Santana and then issued back to back walks to Travis Hafner and Austin Kearns. However, Nats reliever Drew Storen retired the next two hitters to get Strasburg out of the inning unscathed.

Despite the five walks, none of them came around to score. Strasburg gave up only one run on two hits. The only run charged to Strasburg was a solo homerun to Hafner who hit a good pitch low and in on a line. The bottom line is that he got the win.

Strasburg's next start is scheduled for next Friday in Washington against the Chicago White Sox.

I am torn between watching that or watching Manny Ramirez's return to Fenway Park when the Los Angeles Dodgers come to town.

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