What Nats fan could forget June 8, 2010 when Stephen Strasburg made his MLB debut for the Washington Nationals? Baseball and life can be cruel because the polar opposite in emotions is how many Nats fans were ready to drive Strasburg out of Washington in the beginning of 2015?
Strasburg took a back seat to Max Scherzer in the 2015 rotation and for whatever reason Strasburg never looked right to start the season as he was a model of inconsistency until he was put on the DL after a neck injury on May 29th in which he would wear a 6.55 ERA at that moment and that isn’t a stats error or a typo. Strasburg was statistically near the worst starter in the MLB on June 1st.
Twenty-four days later Strasburg would come off the DL and pitch a small gem against Atlanta in a 5 inning inefficient 94 pitch shutout. In Strasburg’s next start after that he would go deeper into the game with a 7 inning performance in which he gave up 2 runs to the Phillies. You could feel the momentum building for Strasburg as his fastball was sizzling! Strasburg started July 4th against the Giants and hurt his oblique and was pulled in the 4th inning, and would go back on the DL.
Thirty-four days later Strasburg would come off the DL and pitch a gem against the Rockies in a 7 inning efficient 91 pitch outing with 1 run given up.
Fast forward to last night where Strasburg threw 74% of his pitches in the high altitude in a combo of 2-seam and 4-seam fastballs, and would strategically mix in a combination of off-speed. Not technically a 7 inning shutout because an error turned into an unfortunate 1 unearned run, but it held up in a 4-1 Nats win and Strasburg lowered his ERA to 4.22.
Since June 23rd, Strasburg has pitched 35 2/3 innings and has only given up 5 earned runs. That’s a 1.26 ERA and that’s not a typo!!! More importantly, the Nats are 5-1 in Strasburg’s last 6 starts compared to 3-7 in his previous 10 starts. The turnaround in Strasburg’s season is stunning.
Last night’s offensive star Jayson Werth summed up Stephen’s outing, “When you think of Stephen Strasburg, that’s what you think of.”
Matt Williams summed up Strasburg’s outing,“It’s important for him to have command, one, and just be aggressive, good tempo. Out of the windup he’s got great tempo, on top of the fastball, throwing it down. All of his pitches are working.”
Time for Scherzer to show who is the Nats #1 as Scherzer will start tonight’s game in Colorado.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 20, 2015