Apr 1, 2013, 10:19 PM EDT
|USA Today Sports Images|
Through his first three major league seasons, Stephen Strasburg struck out batters at a manic pace. His 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings ratio last season led the majors and were the most since Kerry Wood whiffed 11.35 per nine in 2003. Exciting, sure. But sustainable, maybe not.
The Nationals ace is hoping this year to pitch more so to contact, keep pitch counts low, and in turn stay on the mound later into games. In Monday’s 2-0 Opening Day win against the Marlins he took a convincing step in that direction.
Strasburg needed only 80 pitches to carve up Miami batters through seven innings. He finished with three hits allowed, no walks, and just three strikeouts. The Marlins made contact, they just couldn’t get anything going.
“I noticed in spring training early on that they don’t want to get to two strikes,” Strasburg said. “I was fortunate enough to be making good quality pitches and getting some quick outs.
“I’ll take the quick outs any day of the week.”Read more »
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