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Strasburg finds his comfort zone

Jul 22, 2010, 4:26 AM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg allowed three runs but struck out seven Reds batters.

CINCINNATI — As he walked off the field at Great American Ball Park in the sixth inning tonight, his Nationals leading the Reds 7-3, Stephen Strasburg was surprised to hear a fan behind the dugout get on his case for merely looking like a very good mortal pitcher.

The soft-spoken rookie stared at the guy and responded: “Look at the scoreboard.”

Inside the Nationals dugout, Strasburg’s teammates perked up.

“I was like, ‘Yeah! Tell him, Stras!'” Willie Harris said. “When you see stuff like that, it shows you he’s getting comfortable. He’s believing in himself. That’s huge for him and that’s huge for us.”

As you can read on, imagine what level Strasburg can take his game to once he really gets comfortable.

  1. NattyLite - Jul 22, 2010 at 5:26 AM

    god help the baseball world if he develops a mean streak…

  2. Dryw - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    He's already got a mean streak, although most people call it a fast ball. 😉

  3. 320R2S15 - Jul 22, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    I lost alot of respect for Reds fans last night. How can a baseball fan boo a kid like SS? I really did expect better from the queen city, I've been there many times, and I love Cincy, but that was bad.

  4. natsfan1a - Jul 22, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    It occurred to me that perhaps they were booing because he was pulled from the game?

  5. Dave - Jul 22, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    From Willie Harris's account about the kid getting heckled, and from what I heard on TV, it did sound like they were booing Strasburg himself. Moreover, the TV commentators talked about the ballpark emptying after Stras was pulled from the game.Doesn't sound like a stadium full of serious baseball people to me. And I too am surprised. I thought Cincinnati was a city of serious and knowledgeable fans.

  6. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Anytime you get a wave going at a professional sporting event, you are dealing with VERY unknowledgeable sport fans.

  7. Anonymous - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    In defense of Reds' fans, I think Carpy later said that stands had largely refilled: fans had hit concessions and restrooms after Stras' departure.OTOH, and admittedly this would have been an earlier generation, but I remember attending an exhibition game in Tampa in 1982, home team Reds vs. Mets, and being surprised by Reds fans' vicious booing of George Foster, stalwart of the Big Red Machine, who had been traded to the Mets in offseason.

  8. Mike - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    The fans there still boo Adam Dunn, as Carpenter was pointing out last night. It's not like he chose to leave the team. He couldn't help it if they traded him.

  9. Take Off Your Nats Colored Glasses - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Ok reality check time, the result was great a win by the Nats and a win by Strasburg, however how we got there is part of a disturbing trend. This trend is that Strasburg's pitch count is ridiculously high given the number of innings he is throwing, 97 pitches to work through 5 2/3, HORRIBLE! Great pitchers pitch less than 97 pitches through 8 or 9 innings! Strasburg is just a thrower he has great stuff but does not know how to economically pitch against major league hitters.He is currently averaging 6 innings per start. He has thrown 848 pitches for an average of 94 per start. In contrast, Roy Halladay is averaging almost 8 innings per start and has thrown 2174 pitchers for an average of 108 per start. Cliff Lee is averaging about 8 1/3 innings per start and has thrown 1624 pitches for an average of 81 pitchers per start!!!Let me know when Sterasburg gets to this level of pitching efficieny versus throwing devistating stuff and we have a fututre HOF on our hands not just a flame thrower like JR Richard, Joel Zumaya or Kyle Farnsworth.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    Ban the last jerk from posting. He expects a rookie to match the two most accomplished veteran pitchers in baseball… Sheesh!

  11. Anonymous - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    stop comparing strasburg to the very best fully developed veterans. why not compare him to halladays and cliff lee's first couple years in the majors (and their return stints in the minors)?

  12. Mrs. Z. - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Even jerks are allowed their opinions, as jerky as they may be. Isn't that what the internet is for? Posting obnoxious opinions and hiding behind the "anonymous" profile or some stupid one time moniker?I'm sure there is some website out there somewhere that will show that Halladay and Lee weren't always pinnacles of efficiency. Then again, what do I know?

  13. NatsJack in Florida - Jul 22, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    You obviously know alot more than "Rose colored Glasses" (better known as Peric").

  14. 320R2S15 - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    TOYNCG, you are trolling, right? abyone who is not a believer at this point has some simple grudge reason to deny it. The kid is spectacular and 99% of the baseball population knows it. Just wait till this guy gets a little more experience, he will be an absolute monster.

  15. Mrs. Z. - Jul 22, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    That's not Peric; s/he could spell. And one thing in Peric's defense: s/he kept it about baseball. Besides, you have to have the dissenting opinions (and the jerky ones, too) to keep the discussion going AND the page views up so the Zuckerman household can stay in groceries :-)

  16. greg - Jul 22, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    Mrs Z's got a point. If nobody posted anything foolish here, who would we make fun of?

  17. Section 222 - Jul 22, 2010 at 10:48 PM

    @TakeOff — At this stage in his development, I'm happy with 6 innings per start, especially since he's on a 160 innings limit. Think about it. If he throws 6 innings instead of 8 for three games, he can make another start before he hits the limit. That's one more game that the Nats have a chance to win, and the fans get to see a real stud on the mound. The very fact that you are comparing his stats with Halladay and Lee, two of the very best pitchers in the game for the last several years, says alot.





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