San Diego’s travel program had some incredible seasons in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s as the San Diego Sting produced not only All-Star Stephen Strasburg but also Mike Leake. The team included Thomas Neal and Brett Bochy who also were drafted. Strasburg was born in San Diego and grew up in the eastern suburb of Santee where he attended public school at West Hills High School. Strasburg wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school and settled on playing for Tony Gwynn‘s San Diego State Aztecs. Strasburg was transformed physically and mentally at San Diego State into the best collegiate pitcher in the country, and the rest is history for the number 1 overall pick of the 2009 draft by the Washington Nationals.
Today, Strasburg will stand on the mound in the city he calls home. He will have hundreds of family, former teammates from his youth, and other friends in attendance. Strasburg returns from right elbow impingement and a team-controlled slow road back to step on the mound. He made one rehab start 5 days ago with the High-A Potomac Nationals to get ready for this start where he threw 66 pitches in the game and 9 more afterwards in the bullpen.
This is the third game of this four game series between the Padres and Nationals in which the Nationals have taken the first two games with a pieced together lineup and pitching staff.
There is no word yet if Mike Rizzo has brought in a long-man given that Matt Grace will not be available tonight leaving just Joe Blanton and Matt Albers for extended duty. It is imperative that Strasburg goes deep in this game to take some pressure off of the bullpen. It did help that both Brandon Kintzler and Sean Doolittle did not have to pitch last night.
Wilmer Difo will get a well-deserved day-off today, and Adrian Sanchez will take his place. Alejandro De Aza will get the start in rightfield. De Aza is a slightly below average defender in rightfield but also De Aza is just a .230’s career hitter against lefthanded pitchers.
Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres
Stadium: Petco Park
1st Pitch: 8:40 pm EDT
TV: MASN2, FOX Sports – San Diego, MLB.TV
Nats Radio: 106.7 FM The Fan; SiriusXM® (Internet 869)
Line-ups (subject to change without notice):
New #Nats lineup: Stevenson RF, Sanchez SS, Rendon 3B, Zimmerman 1B, Kendrick 2B, Taylor CF, De Aza LF, Lobaton C, Strasburg P.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 19, 2017