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Counting on Strasburg … again

Jun 17, 2010, 8:55 PM EDT

DETROIT — Twice, the Nationals have handed Stephen Strasburg the ball in the midst of a losing streak and asked the rookie right-hander to stop the bleeding. And he’s done it.

Tomorrow night, the Nats will once again Strasburg to play the roll of stopper. After getting swept by the Tigers, they head home stuck in their worst funk of the season, needing a 21-year-old with 10 days of big-league experience to get them back on the winning track again.

“That’s what happens when he’s the best we’ve got right now,” Adam Dunn said after today’s 8-3 loss. “We need him to go out and pitch like he’s been pitching. That’s why he’s up here: To give us a chance to win.”

Read about Strasburg’s approach heading into tomorrow night’s start against the White Sox on CSNwashington.com.

  1. Ernie - Jun 17, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    I think I hit on the entire reason for the team's troubles. Right after that 14-run explosion against the Rockies in mid-May the team was 20-15. The next day was rained out. Since that day the team is 11-21. Know what happened during that day off for the rain? Someone posted a blog entry talking up how great the team was, titling it "These guys are legit." http://natsinsider.blogspot.com/2010/05/these-guys-are-legit.html It's all your fault Mark. Hubris is a painful thing.

  2. natsfan1a - Jun 17, 2010 at 10:36 PM

    WGN is scheduled to have the Sox at Pittsburgh tonight, for those of a mind to do some advance scouting…

  3. Anonymous - Jun 17, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    Mark, from the article: "At his best, Strasburg is not a strikeout king, but rather a sinkerballer who induces plenty of groundouts and in turn keeps his pitch count down."This is demonstrably false–there have been plenty of studies on whether sinkerballers or strikeout pitchers were able to go deeper into games. The conclusion? It didn't really matter, so long as they kept their walks down. However, the strikeout pitchers ended up with better stats in the long run. I love your work and have donated before, but please don't continue to perpetuate Riggleman's nonsense–I'm glad to see Strasburg isn't planning to change anything about how he pitches, but I worry that this will become a media meme.

  4. A.W. - Jun 18, 2010 at 1:07 AM

    Man, these comments are ruthless. I'm looking forward to Strasburg stopping the losses again. I appreciate your articles Zuck. I won't blame you until you jinx a Stras perfecto.

  5. Ernie - Jun 18, 2010 at 1:26 AM

    @ A.W.My post was meant in jest. Not sure anyone could really blame an article for a terrible month of baseball… I thought that would be obvious.Then again, I guess I should remember that there are commenters who seriously think Riggleman was trying to throw the series in Cleveland to benefit Acta.

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