April 11, 2012 |
NEW YORK — The delicate treatment of Stephen Strasburg ended Wednesday afternoon. In the sixth inning, with the tying run on second base, the Washington Nationals chose competition over precaution. There was no other pitcher they wanted on the mound, and so, even as Strasburg crossed a new threshold, the Nationals left him out there. As his pitch count surpassed 100 for the first time as a professional, Strasburg handled the most crucial moment of the Nationals' 4-0 victory over the New York Mets himself.
August 5, 2012 |
Stephen Strasburg's up-and-down month can, in part, be attributed to youth. The Washington Nationals ' ace can produce magnificence on the mound and he can, of course, falter, too . He can make batters look foolish, and he can struggle to adjust when his pitches aren't sharp. Lest Nationals fans forget, he has made only 39 starts over three seasons, and he still has something to learn about the art of pitching. Strasburg shook off his worst start of the season — perhaps of his career — with a dominant six-inning, three-hit, six-strikeout performance Sunday in a 4-1 win over the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park.
August 21, 2012 |
Every Stephen Strasburg start is precious. His time is limited by a right elbow that employs a tendon pulled from his thigh two years ago. It has reached the point in the year where fans pull out their schedules, calculators and pens and start guessing when in the next month or so the right-hander will last climb the mound for the Washington Nationals this season. Rain, thunder and lightning threatened Tuesday's start against the Atlanta Braves in the Nationals' biggest series to date.
September 6, 2011 |
Stephen Strasburg met every reasonable expectation, and exceeded several ridiculous ones, in his nearly flawless return to the major leagues Tuesday night at Nationals Park. Where's the rust or the lost command? Who returns to the big leagues after 382 days away for elbow surgery with more precision and better efficiency than when he left? Who fans one Dodger on a 99 mph fastball, barely allows an audibly struck ball in five innings, but has the touch and finesse to fan both Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier on 90 mph change-ups?
August 15, 2012 |
Doctors who specialize in sports medicine, including leading authorities on the type of ligament replacement surgery performed on the throwing arm of Stephen Strasburg , say they aren't surprised by the Washington Nationals ' decision to end their star pitcher's season early sometime next month. Even so, they acknowledge there is no consensus on whether it is a necessary step. The approach the Nationals are taking — shutting Strasburg down once he reaches a yet-to-be-decided cap, possibly between 160 and 180 innings — is being scrutinized and studied carefully by many across the sport.
July 12, 2013 |
MIAMI – In the midst of the worst inning of the worst start of his career, an expressionless Stephen Strasburg stood on the mound and listened. He had walked three of the first four batters he faced, and first baseman Adam LaRoche came to talk. After a bases-clearing triple, pitching coach Steve McCatty emerged from the dugout. Following the inning's third hit, shortstop Ian Desmond paid a visit. When the opposing pitcher singled, catcher Wilson Ramos tried. The misery continued.
May 15, 2013 |
We know Stephen Strasburg can be a stubborn, hard-nosed competitor. We saw it last season when the Washington Nationals insisted on shutting him down early and Strasburg tried every trick in the book to avoid it. He was mentally tough when he was fighting to save his spot in the rotation and play in the postseason. So where was that guy Saturday after Ryan Zimmerman's throwing error in an eventual loss to the Cubs ? Because the guy we saw couldn't shake it off, showed his general disgust to everyone in the ballpark, then walked a guy hitting below the Mendoza line, gave up a two-run double to pitcher Edwin Jackson , walked David DeJesus , allowed a single to Starlin Castro and a two-run single to Anthony Rizzo . Last season, the bull-headed Strasburg simply gets the next batter out, inning over.
June 4, 2011 |
When team officials arrived at Nationals Park on the morning of June 8, 2010, fans were already gathering outside the gated players-only parking lot. Some of the fans had waited a year for this day, the unveiling of Stephen Strasburg on a major league field, in a Washington Nationals uniform. They called it "Strasmas. " The ballclub decided to spare Strasburg another vivid reminder of the hype attending his debut. Per the team's instructions, Strasburg and his wife, Rachel, drove straight into the bowels of the stadium, near a loading dock.
August 13, 2012 |
Washington Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo made the decision long ago to limit Stephen Strasburg to between 160 and 180 innings this season, to protect his right arm as he pitches in his first full season after ligament-replacement surgery. Rizzo is thinking about the long-term interest of the franchise and trying to protect the precious future of a 24-year-old with unbounded potential. Inside the Nationals' clubhouse, the decision is understood. It is also unpopular.