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Contrasting styles, similar results

Mar 14, 2010, 10:44 PM EST

Photo by Rachel Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Battling a fierce crosswind, Stephen Strasburg tossed three scoreless innings.

VIERA, Fla. — You'd be hard-pressed to find any pitching tandem in baseball more diverse than Stephen Strasburg and Livan Hernandez.

One is the embodiment of a power pitcher who blows hitters away with sheer force. The other slings slop up toward the plate, hoping to catch guys off-balance and force them into bad swings.

One throws his fastball as hard as anyone in the sport and even tops 90 mph with his change-up. The other throws his fastball in the low 80s and occasionally fires up a 61 mph curveball that would make Bugs Bunny proud.

One is a picture perfect, physical specimen: 6 feet, 4 inches and 220 pounds of pitching perfection, with strong legs that drive off the mound and allow that fastball to reach such dizzying heights. The other is, shall we say, a bit on the pudgy side, with a body that the casual observer would never guess belongs to a professional athlete.

Yet Stephen Strasburg and Livan Hernandez possess far more similarities than you'd ever believe. More than anything, each right-hander possesses the quality most important to achieving success inRead more »

  1. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Could connect it if one was snorting apples.

  2. natsfan1a - Mar 15, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    Now, that's funny. Kinda sad, but funny. :-)—(If only Daniel Cabrera could spend 10 minutes talking shop with this guy. Then again, Cabrera would probably still insist he's fine sticking with what he's done for the last decade, content to be a guy with a 98 mph fastball and a 7 mph brain.)

  3. Sunderland - Mar 15, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    Mark: At 0 – 10 it's laugh or go nuts. Thanks for the wit. I for one needed it tonight.And thanks for connecting Strasburg and Livo. It's easy to see the differences. Glad to see that Strasburg see value in some Cuban Relaxation.

  4. Doc - Mar 15, 2010 at 12:50 AM

    Hey MarkMeister thats what writing about BB is all about. Neat article. Thanks. By the way, Greg Maddox won 350+ games with a fastball that rarely went over 88 mph.; same for my favorite all time pitcher Warren Spahn. Like the team IQ guru, A. Dunn says, this dude Strasburg has a lot up top–if you know what I mean!

  5. Eric - Mar 15, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    Mark,How about a comparison of Livan and Wakefield? Sure, one's a slop pitcher and the other's a knuckleballer, but both are innings-eaters, savvy veterans, relatively inexpensive and love pitching for their teams. Why should the Nats even think of not having Livan in the rotation? Sure, he's going to have some horrible games, but he also will have more quality starts than anyone else in the rotation. And, for some inexplicable reason, he loves wearing the curly W. A key to winning is to get a QS out of your SP and keep the bullpen fresh, right?





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