This will be a most interesting showdown of starters today with Stephen Strasburg facing off against childhood teammate Mike Leake in an 8:15pm start time in St. Louis. They faced each other last on May 19, 2014 but neither were pitcher’s of record in a marathon game that went 15 innings.
We once wrote about their relationship as teammates on a San Diego travel team and Leake in an interview had unflattering remarks about Strasburg as an 11 year old teammate.
In 2010, when Leake was a rookie, he was asked about that experience. He said Strasburg was “overweight, pouty and used to cry.” Leake went on to say that Strasburg did a “complete 180 and that it’s amazing how he’s changed,” but according to MLB Network, “those words didn’t sit well with Strasburg who was apparently fired up about the article, waiting to get the last word on the diamond.”
We brought up the situation as Leake was a free agent this off-season and tied to the Nats making it a possibly uncomfortable situation. Now they are set to face-off tonight.
You might also remember these tidbits from December 9th at the Winter Meetings:
Mike Rizzo said Nats have an offer to Mike Leake, but added they do for other players, too. Insisted team’s interest in starters is tepid.
— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) December 9, 2015
nats talk with mike leake is serious. cards, giants have been in mix. but heating up with washington now.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 9, 2015
The Nats of course never acquired Mike Leake and he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Here are the Nats stats against Mike Leake:
Here is Strasburg against the Cardinals:
Lineups (subject to change without notice):