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That’s one small step for Strasburg, one giant leap for the Nationals

Feb 21, 2010, 10:02 PM EST


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VIERA, Fla. — It lasted all of nine minutes and consisted of 37 pitches. A casual observer who happened to wander over to the row of bullpen mounds near the Nationals' four practice fields might very well have paid no attention to the tall right-hander lined up in between teammates Matt Chico, Tyler Walker, Aaron Thompson and Joel Peralta, uncorking fastballs and breaking balls and change-ups with relative ease.

As the 21-year-old pitcher would describe it later: "Short and sweet."

And yet there was no more significant development on the first day of formal workouts at Nats camp than that nine-minute bullpen session by Stephen Strasburg. To the naked eye, it may not have looked like much. But to the Nats and their success-craving fan base, it was the first tangible sign that better days may not be so far away.

Strasburg's spring training debut drew a larger-than-normal crowd, perhaps 150 or so fans, not to mention a pack of reporters and photographers who chronicled his every move. It also drew rave reviews from the young man who caught each of those 37Read more ยป

  1. Andrew - Feb 21, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    When he talked in the interview about pitching repertoire, I said to myself, this is one of those kids like Ryan Zimmerman who is mature beyond his years.Mark, your audio feeds are amazing as well as your Posts!

  2. Andrew - Feb 22, 2010 at 12:33 AM

    Stephen Strasburg said, "It's a part of being a pitcher. You have to change every little thing to keep a hitter off balance. With a wood bat, if you can locate a good two-seam fastball, you can get right in on their hands all day. If you can learn to command it, it's another pitch in your repertoire. So, obviously, you want to throw a four-seam, two-seam. You've just got to show a hitter all these different looks and keep them off-balance."

  3. David Uglow - Feb 22, 2010 at 4:27 AM

    Mark, I've probably looking right past the link, but where do we find the audio feed?

  4. natsfan1a - Feb 22, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    David, the audio files are sent to those who made subscription payments during the period from the blog's start-up until the February 17 cutoff date. You can find details via the Send Mark to Spring Training link in the blog archive (see right side of this page).

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As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
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