Tag Archive | "stephen strasburg"

Strasburg,sinking of the S.S. National

In the Major League satire feature films we never got confirmation from characters Pedro Cerrano or Eddie Harris as to whether or not Jesus could hit a curve ball. It is, however, confirmed in the real Major League Baseball world that the Washington Nationals “Savior” is unable to save himself from Tommy John surgery.

Stephen Strasburg showed the world what unique talent he possessed the first time he stepped on the mound in Nationals Park on June 8 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The most hyped rookie in the history of MLB proved his believers right and dazzled a national television audience, dominating the Pirates while striking out 14 hitters in seven innings.

While the youngster conquered and it was a classic case of a star being born overnight, what concerned a lot of MLB fans was the upside-down arm action that Strasburg threw with.

Fast-forward to August from that debut night against Pittsburgh and things have certainly changed. It appears that instead of pulling the Nats out of the basement in 2011, Strasburg will instead be rehabbing and working toward returning from Tommy John surgery.

White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper pointed Strasburg’s problematic delivery out after his first stint on the DL, comparing him to Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, two promising pitchers who never lived up to their hype due to a laundry list of injuries.

Despite the Nationals best efforts to protect Strasburg’s golden arm (they were going to cut him off at 160 innings and kept his pitch counts limited in the starts he made) he is now facing 12 to 18 months of rehab. That means we may not see Strasburg until Spring Training 2012.

Regardless of what the Nats did, pitching is a violent and unnatural motion, and players with certain deliveries will be more apt to get hurt no matter what measures are taken.

Strasburg’s injury is a huge blow to the Nationals. The organization has spent its time in D.C. as an irrelevant bottom-feeder in the National League East. Although they are heading toward another last place finish in 2010, Strasburg represented a future and hope; making the team and fans believe they would soon be competitive.

While it’s possible that the best case scenario suggests Strasburg could be ready to go in September 2011, the team would be incredibly dumb to rush him back since they will likely once again be far away from the pennant race.

Strasburg himself is determined to come back from the injury as quick as possible. He said, “right now I want to be the best at rehabbing and getting back out [there].”

Hopefully when he does, he brings the same heat and a bender that would even make Jesus’ knees buckle.  

Used with permission of the author.

 Along with contributing to Sports Climax, Brett Kettyle is the Atlanta Braves Community Leader on Bleacher Report and maintains a Braves column for MTR Media. Follow Brett on Twitter.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Strasburg gets rocked in return from DL

WASHINGTON – With an attendance announced at just 25,939 for yesterday’s return of Stephen Strasburg, the hype appears to be fizzling out. With empty seats scattered throughout Nationals Park, the Nats young and feared right-hander got rocked is a 8-2 loss to the Florida Marlins.

S.S. had dominated in his inaugural season before suffering pain in his throwing shoulder a few weeks ago. Since that flair-up, the youngster has been resting his arm and throwing a few simulated games.

Yesterday’s start was his first since July 21 and the hurler looked out of form from the start when Dan Uggla hit a two-run shot over the left field wall in the top of the first inning.

At times the Marlins looked like they had Kryptonite bats, ripping the leather off the ball and by the 5th inning, the Nats manager had seen enough and yanked Strasburg.

His stats at the end of the day included just 4 1/3 innings and 6 earned runs on 84 pitches.

“The arm felt really good. Nice and loose. I felt 100 percent. I didn’t know where [the pitches] were going today,” Strasburg said. “It happens being on the DL, coming back maybe expecting a little too much of myself. It kind of got to my head a little bit out there. I’m going to keep things simple next time.”

“It’s his first start back since a couple of weeks ago, when something was bothering him,” Uggla said. “He was out there, kind of feeling for it. His command wasn’t as good as the first time we faced him. His stuff was there, though. His fastball is explosive. His curveball had good break on it. The biggest difference was his command.”

The Nationals dropped to 49-64 with the loss.

Used with permission of the author.

Jay Donetelli is a Tampa-based freelance sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax. With an opinion sharper than an Ovechkin skate blade with the sting of an Ali jab, Donetelli has a loyal cult of readers who have found a way to love him.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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10 things to know, MLB All-Star Game

Tonight is the 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.  While much has been written and talked about the “Midsummer Classic,” here are ten things that we at Sports Climax think that you should know – and that the mainstream media won’t tell you.

  1. Fox is televising the game, with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver calling their record twelfth consecutive game together.  This is probably eleven games too many.  Prepare yourself for more wise-cracking, unfunny jokes and over-analysis from the pair.
  2. Your alternative is ESPN Radio, with Jon Sciambi and Dave Campbell on the call.  Might be a better option, as long as you can tolerate Campbell’s droning stories and periodic bitterness about his playing career.
  3. Since Fox is the king of shameless cross-promotion during sporting events, expect its show “Glee” to be the main beneficiary.  After all, cast member Amber Riley will be singing the National Anthem.
  4. Hopefully pregame analyst Eric Karros will sport a hairdo as astounding as the poofy one he had during the 2009 season and World Series.
  5. Good news – Jim Gray won’t be there to ask Derek Jeter softball questions about his next contract.  
  6. “This Time It Counts” – don’t buy it.  In the previous seven All-Star games (all won by the American League)  that have determined who gets home field for the World Series, the AL has won four fall classics, the NL three.  Yet another brainchild of the “used car salesman.”
  7. NL starting pitcher Ubaldo Jiménez is really, really good.  Pay attention to him – if the Rockies don’t make the playoffs, this might be your last chance to see him pitch live in 2010.
  8. But you won’t see the Nationals’ rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg on the mound tonight.  Get over it – he probably could use the rest anyway.
  9. Don’t expect the Angels’ “Rally Monkey” to show up.  Word has it that team owner Artie Moreno locked him up to a deal in which he works exclusively for the halos.
  10. In the likely event that a home run is hit during the game, expect a plethora of references and comparisons to Bo Jackson’s home run in the 1989 All-Star Game (which was the last one played in Anaheim).  Keep in mind that Bo hit it off Rick Reuschel, and there are no glorified wiffle ball-type hurlers on either side tonight.

Here’s hoping these tips enhance your viewing experience tonight, and that the game doesn’t end in a tie.  We don’t want Bud to take a page from soccer and have Home Run Derby determine the winner in the future.

Used with permission of the author.

Chris Lardieri covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for Examiner.com and has written about Major League Baseball for Inside Edge, a scouting company that provides content to ESPN Insider and Yahoo Sports. He previously wrote for 1766, the Rutgers Alumni Magazine, and popular blog, ‘The Outer Loop’.  Be sure to follow Chris on Twitter for more MLB and sports observations.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Strasburg goes to 2-0 in 9-4 win

Rookie sensation Stephen Strasburg seemed to pick up yesterday right where he left off after his 14-strike out debut on June 8 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, striking out the first two hitters he faced to start the first inning.

With this being Strasburg’s second start after striking out 14 with no walks in his first appearance, it was just a matter of time before he did give one up. That came in the fourth inning to another rookie in only his third major league game, Carlos Santana.

After a solid performance, Strasburg was pulled in the sixth after loading the bases but not before tallying eight K’s, walking five and giving up one home run which was one of just two hits. The Nats won 9-4, breaking a two-game losing streak.

The win improves Strasburg’s record to 2-0 and his ERA to 2.19. Like in game one, Strasburg had almost complete control. You could hear the sound of the ball popping Ivan Rodriguez’s mitt and knew it had to be traveling close to or at 100 mph.

Rodriguez seemed to notice Strasburg was having some problems with the mound early in the game, though Strasburg denied it at first. But in the fifth inning, he admitted he was sliding a bit and the ground’s crew came out to fix the mound before Strasburg started the sixth inning, but by then Strasburg, while still throwing in the 100 mph range, showed he was human. Manager Jim Riggleman, who had originally said he was going to hold Strasburg to a 100 pitch count, took him out after throwing 95 pitches, 52 of those strikes and with the bases loaded and the Nats leading 6-1.

Strasburg’s 18 strikeouts before issuing a walk is second in the majors. Johnny Cueto, of the Cincinnati Reds holds the record of striking out 22 batters before issuing a walk. He achieve that feat in 2008. That same year, Strasburg was a sophomore at San Diego State University. He went 8-3 with a 1.57 earned run average and 133 strikeouts in 971/2 innings for the Aztecs. That same year he struck out a Mountain West conference record 23 batters in a game on April 11 against the University of Utah. He has one career no-hitter, recorded in his final home start on May 8, 2009, against Air Force, where he also struck out 17 batters.

After two solid outtings, the consensus is if Strasburg can keep healthy, he could become the best pitcher Major League Baseball has ever seen.

Re-printed with permission of the author.

In addition to contributing to Sports Climax, Miriam Romain maintains a Chicago Cubs column for Examiner.com. The Chicago native has also been published in several Cubs annuals by Maple Street Press and is writing a book with the working title “Summers at Wrigley with my Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Strasburg has 14 Ks in 5-2 debut win

Even before he took the mound for his National League debut tonight in Washington, Stephen Strasburg had become a household name. The flame-throwing pitcher’s debut came just one year after signing a record $15.1 million contract with the Nationals.

Hoping to help lift a slumping Nats team, Strasburg was put on the fast track to the majors. Facing the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 21-year-old phenom lived up to the hype, striking out 14 of the 21 batters he faced and giving up two runs, both coming on a two-run dinger by Delwyn Young.

The most impressive stat may be the fact he walked not a single batter, even after falling behind 3-0 and 3-1 on a few occasions.

With a wicked curve ball coupled with his smoking fastball that reached 100 mph and was consistently in the high 90 mph range, Strasburg’s debut came in front of more than 40,000 fans at a standing room only Nationals Park.

After being greeted with a standing ovation, first inning jitters were apparent as Strasburg had trouble finding the strike zone, but once he found it, he was almost unstoppable.

Before taking the mound tonight, Strasburg was a sensation. During his short time at Triple-A Syracuse, he had a 1.08 ERA. He struck out 38 batters in 33.1 innings and walked only seven. Earlier this week, a baseball card of Strasburg sold on eBay for around $17,000 and tickets to tonight’s game were sold out within two hours of the announcement that Strasburg was being called up and starting.

Often compared to Kerry Wood, among other pitchers who have had incredible rookie years, Strasburg does appear to be somewhat different. Looking at all the angles, his mechanics, for one, are better than Wood’s. He was able to mix up his pitches, so hitters really didn’t know what his first pitch to them would be. But it was that awesome curve ball that was a joy for fans to watch, but a frustration to Pirates batters.

With this 5-2 win under his belt, Strasburg has a decision to make. The mayor of the town of Strasburg, VA, has said that if Strasburg won his first game, he would be awarded the Pride of Strasburg Award. If Strasburg accepts it in person, the town will be renamed Stephen Strasburg, VA, for one week.

Keep watching this kid. He looks like the real deal, and if he stays healthy, his career could provide historic numbers and end at Cooperstown in baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Re-printed with permission of the author.
In addition to contributing to Sports Climax, Miriam Romain maintains a Chicago Cubs column for Examiner.com. The Chicago native has also been published in several Cubs annuals by Maple Street Press and is writing a book with the working title “Summers at Wrigley with my Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Strasburg Mows Down Tigers in MLB Debut

If he was nervous about pitching for the first time for the Washington Nationals, it didn’t show in Stephen Strasburg’s Photo Credit: San Diego State Universityspring training debut against the Tigers on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old right hander impressed both his team and the opposing Tigers by throwing two shutout innings, striking out one and allowing just two hits in the two innings he pitched. His fast ball reportedly went no lower than 96, and as high as 100 miles per hour.

The Nationals chose Strasburg as the overall first draft pick in this year’s Player Draft. The 2009 Golden Spikes Award winner signed a $15.1 million four year deal with the Nationals on August 25.

He made his professional debut with the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League on October 16. Strasburg was named the 2009 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award winner last summer. The award is given to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.

Strasburg was the only collegiate player selected to represent the United States Baseball team during the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, China. In his only start in the Olympics he pitched seven innings striking out five of the fist six batters he faced. He allowed only one run. The game was called after eight innings because of rain.

The 6’4″ 220-pounder throws and bats right. His fast ball has been clocked consistently at 95-97 miles per hour. Strasburg finished the 2009 season 31-1 with a 1.32 ERA for San Diego State University.

He allowed only 59 hits, 15 earned runs, 19 walks and had 195 strikeouts in 109 innings pitched. His first career no hitter came on May 8, 2009, in his final home start against the Air Force. He struck out 17 batters in that game.

In addition to writing her Chicago Cubs column for Examiner.com, Miriam Romain has been published in several Cubs annuals by Maple Street Press and is a contributor to SportsClimax.com . She is also writing a book with the working title “Summers at Wrigley with my Dad.”

Copyright 2010 © Sports Climax™



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