Skip to content

He starts Friday

Jun 14, 2010, 6:31 PM EST

UPDATE AT 4:00 P.M. — Stephen Strasburg has been named National League Player of the Week. For these purposes, MLB starts the week on Monday, so both of Strasburg’s starts were taken into consideration. He beat out, among others, teammate Adam Dunn (who only hit .455 with four homers over the same span).

DETROIT — I really don’t know why this is causing so much confusion, but my email inbox and Twitter account have been flooded all day with people wanting to know when Stephen Strasburg makes his next start.

So, one last time: He starts Friday night against the White Sox. It doesn’t matter that Fox picked up Saturday’s game and moved it to a 4:10 p.m. start. Jim Riggleman has said Strasburg will pitch every five DAYS, not every five games until the All-Star break.

As always, this is subject to change based on weather and other factors that can disrupt a team’s rotation. But barring anything like that, Strasburg will start Friday night.

Are we clear?

  1. Anonymous - Jun 14, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    All it takes is one anonymous post on a blog mentioning that they heard he is moving to Saturday to stir the masses.

  2. TimDz - Jun 14, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Crystal, Col. Jessup…Now, do you know how this will affect the Fox game if Fox choses not to broadcast the Saturday Strass-less game?Fox has exclusive broadcasting rights between 4PM and 7 PM (meaning no other network can broadcast at that time). If they choose not to broadcast the game and the Nats do not change the time of the game, we get hosed.

  3. JayB - Jun 14, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Got my 10 extra tickets when you first shared that Riggs quote….they whole street is going with me.

  4. Pauloyd - Jun 14, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    I am sorry, I have to ask. Are all the KY Intrigue ads on this site a reflection of you or me?

  5. Anonymous - Jun 14, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    @Pauloyd…I just spit up all over my keyboard. Thanks for that. Oh, and I am not getting those ads, so I'm thinkint it's you.

  6. Section 222 - Jun 14, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    I feel for you Mark. The conspiracy theorists have been out in force lately. Pretty soon you'll have to do a post entitled: "No, Riggleman Was Not Trying to Throw Games to Help Out Manny." Do you know who shot JFK?

  7. Grandstander - Jun 14, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    Why do people think Fox doesn't want to broadcast Saturday's game because Strasburg isn't pitching? I know they're not as much of a draw as SS, but JD Martin vs. Gavin Floyd is a marquee matchup! It should be a ratings bonanza to showcase these 2 teams with that talent on the mound!At least it's Zimmerman bobblehead day, that's enough to get me there.

  8. Big Oil - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    I think Pauloyd wins comment of the day

  9. TimDz - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    Now, do you know how this will affect the Fox game if Fox choses not to broadcast the Saturday Strass-less game?________That should have read: do you know how this will affect the NATS game if Fox chooses not to broadcast the Saturday Strass-less game?

  10. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    If Fox keeps the game, it's on their network at 4 p.m. If they drop the game, it could not be televised by anyone else because they have exclusive rights in the 4-7 p.m. window.But it's highly unlikely they'll drop the game at this late stage. It'll be one of three games on Fox (along with Dodgers-Red Sox and Twins-Phillies) and so will probably only be shown in a small percentage of the country (including D.C.).

  11. logan - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:16 PM

    I'll tell you why – because yesterday, both ESPN and said he was starting Saturday. I am a witness.I am not surprised that ESPN would get it wrong, since they only cover the Yanks and the Sawx.

  12. Mark L - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Had to laugh,logan, that explains Mark's grief. Don't forget, TBS's Sunday game broke the stranglehold of the exclusive yanks/sox games. Hope the numbers were good.

  13. Bowdenball - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    logan, they probably just counted games from Sunday. National news sources are virtually worthless when it comes to stuff like this- that's why we all come here and some of us pay Mark for the privilege. Always, always, always trust the beat writers above national reporters.Gonna be quite an evening on Friday. It's not a debut, but if anything the hype has gotten even more casual fans interested in Strasburg. And Buehrle is certainly a higher profile opponent than Strasburg's previous two counterparts, as is his team, even though they're struggling at the moment.

  14. Anonymous - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Speaking of schedules, Next Wednesday's game is a 4:35 scheduled start. If Stras is pitching every 5th day, it lines up for Wednesday. Both KC and DC have off days on Thursday, and niether team is traveling far (STL and BAL). I wonder if they would move the start time until 7, or if it'll still be a sellout.

  15. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:36 PM

    @Anonymous: No way the Nats will change starting time from that 4:35 start against KC next Wednesday. Why? Jesus, virtually unhittable at any time, will be blinding in the late-afternoon twilight. I am predicting two hits, maximum, for the Royals against Jesus.As for the Friday-Saturday confusion, seems the average Washington sports fan has trouble counting from one to five. Hint: take off your shoes.

  16. Pauloyd - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    On another note, what is the latest on Wang?

  17. Bowdenball - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    On that KC game on the 23rd: Does anyone know why it is scheduled for 4:30, given the fact that neither team is playing the next day and that its in the middle of interleague play, so presumably wouldn't be used to make up rainouts or anything? I'm sure the Nats will appreciate getting 48 hours between the end of a D.C. game and the start of a Baltimore game next week But it seems really weird. The Royals are just on their way home after that, so it's not a huge travel burden for them either.

  18. Anonymous - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    Are you sure that's "on another note" Pauloyd, or directly related to those pesky ads you're seeing? 😉

  19. bobn - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    So I go to the Nats' website and go to tickets and request handicapped access…says to fill out form and someone will call. Did this twice…no call. Phoned the consumer line got a nice young lady (she sounded young) and she said there were available seats in all sections. She said there would be service charge of three bucks per ticket and an additional charge up to $8.50 per ticket. Wait a minute, up to $11.50 per ticket and then the seat price? Hell with it.

  20. Anonymous - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    Potentially the best part of the June 23rd game is the possibility that it ends up being Greinke vs. Strasburg. It looks like KC has been pitching Greinke every five days as well, and by my count that would lead to the match up of the two studs. Is it absurd to think this is in the realm of possibility?

  21. Doc - Jun 14, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    Mark you have a clear lawsuit against ESPN–they need to take off their shoes to count! We're talking time and money here, MarkMeister. 5 Days vs. 5 Games??? I'll bet they still use an asbiscus to count over there.

  22. Eric - Jun 14, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    Mark I was wondering if you might perhaps do a bit more coverage concerning the issues with the mound during Strasburg's start on Sunday and how it might have effected his performance. I've got tickets to Friday's game and can't wait to see him on the mound again…the first game was crazy….it was my 6th game this year and by far the most exciting

  23. Anonymous - Jun 14, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    Strasburg will start on Saturday, again you know it and I know it..MLB is all about ratings…Obama does not show if Stras is not pitching and they want him in the broadcast booth; he is NOT going to talk to Carp and Dibbs.

  24. Bowdenball - Jun 14, 2010 at 8:39 PM

    Comments like Anon 4:21 are the reason that anonymous commenting is silly. You're gonna contradict the beat reporter/manager of this blog and everyone else here without putting any sort of name on your post? Really classy.Would it change your opinion to know that if he starts Friday, his next start is a home game that would otherwise draw maybe 15,000? Whereas if he starts Saturday his next start is on the road for the direct benefit of a man who worked for decades to keep baseball out of D.C.? Still think they'll make him wait until Saturday to go?

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2010 at 8:56 PM

    Good post Bowdenball… Riggs says Friday, Rizzo says Friday, so its Friday. And I can't think of anything better to do than take off early on a Wednesday to see Strass pitch in a 4:35 game.Two home starts in 6 days… beautiful. Let the Saturday Bozo's watch J.D.

  26. Anonymous - Jun 14, 2010 at 8:57 PM

    One small correction: Mike Rizzo said he will pitch every five days not Jim Riggleman. Clear Mark.

  27. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    "We're going to pitch him every fifth day. After the All-Star Break, he may be pitching with six days' rest, seven days' rest sometimes." — Jim Riggleman, June 9, 2010

  28. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    Thanks, Mark.

  29. Anonymous - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    All you need to know to spike the Stras-starts-Saturday theories is that Fox picked up that game–and the Nats moved to the earlier start time–BEFORE Stras was called up. At least a couple weeks before. So Fox probably wasn't anticipating Strasmas III; it just wanted to show a Nats-Sox game (probably because of the likelihood that Obama shows up). Me, I've got tickets for both Friday and Saturday. But we'll be seeing Strasburg on Friday.

  30. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Official announcement from the Nats just was sent out…"The Washington Nationals today announced the following information about their upcoming series at Nationals Park against the Chicago White Sox.* Reigning NL Player of the Week Stephen Strasburg and All-Star left-hander Mark Buehrle are slated to start the series opener on Friday. Below are the probable pitchers for the entire series (subject to change).Fri., June 18 vs. CWS (7:05 pm) — LHP Mark Buehrle vs. RHP Stephen StrasburgSat., June 19 vs. CWS (4:10 pm) — RHP Gavin Floyd vs. RHP J.D. MartinSun., June 20 vs. CWS (1:35 pm) — RHP Freddy Garcia vs. LHP John Lannan* Saturday’s game vs. Chicago-AL has been changed to a 4:10 pm start and will be broadcast on Fox."

  31. NatinBeantown - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Something tells me Mark is looking forward to the All Star break. I can't imagine what a grind the beat writing gig is, no matter what your passions for baseball, reporting and writing. If you add to the beat writer's grind that of editor, travel agent, and publisher… whew! (Not even mentioning overly-aggressive comment threads on your work)Anyway, we appreciate the work, Mark. Hope your experiment is proving worthwhile… at least this team is keeping things interesting!

  32. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    A lot of scalpers have a lot of tickets for sale for the Saturday game and so they have a lot to gain from confusing the issue.

  33. K.D. - Jun 15, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    Hope you enjoy your time in Detroit Mark. Comerica isn't Tiger stadium but it's nice, and the people/fans nicer. Make sure and pass along how much the Nats enjoy having Pudge around.

  34. Jon - Jun 15, 2010 at 12:38 AM

    Mark,It also just doesn't make any sense to skip a pitcher's turn in the rotation to keep Strasburg on every fifth day instead of every fifth game. What's the point of that if you're trying to save his innings? Maybe I'm missing something?

  35. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 12:59 AM

    Jon, you're missing the fact that they don't have to skip anyone else's turn in the rotation in order to pitch Strasburg every fifth day. The other guys just get an extra day of rest is all. And an extra day of rest won't hurt any of them one bit.

  36. Mark Zuckerman - Jun 15, 2010 at 1:02 AM

    Jon: Anonymous beat me to the punch, but he/she is right. One reason for this is to give guys like Livo, Lannan and Atilano some extra rest and keep them fresh for the second half of the season.Also, Strasburg has been on a pretty strict, five-day rotation since March (aside from an extra day here and there). The club doesn't want to mess around with that now, especially since this is the first time he's pitched every five days in his life.Finally, and this shouldn't be ignored: By starting every five days, Strasburg will make five of his first seven starts at home. That may not be the driving force behind this, but it's a nice bonus for the Nats.

  37. Sec$39.99 - Jun 15, 2010 at 1:17 AM

    So Strasburg will practically pay for himself before the year is out. Which is exactly what Scott Boras was saying for months. And don't think he won't remind them in the Harper negotiations.

  38. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 7:11 AM

    MLB Network has picked up the Friday game so this will also be a nationally televised game.

  39. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    Nationals website 907 AM June 15, 2010 Friday starter: TBA

  40. NatsJack in Florida - Jun 15, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    Mark,Imagine how much fun it's going to be AFTER the All-Star break when Stephen is going to pitch on 6 or 7 days rest. I don't envy you at all.





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter