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Sunday, June 13, 2010

ESPN: Strasburg fans 8, moves to 2-0 for Nationals

CLEVELAND—Stephen Strasburg learned life on the road isn’t always smooth.

Washington’s rookie sensation had more trouble with Cleveland’s mound than Indians hitters while lasting 5 1/3 innings during his second major league start, leading the Nationals to a 9-4 victory Sunday.

Coming off a 14-strikeout debut, Strasburg (2-0) allowed just two hits, one a home run by Travis Hafner. He struck out eight and walked five before leaving to a chorus of boos in the sixth as Washington ended Cleveland’s four-game winning streak.

... Strasburg’s appearance drew 32,876 fans, the second-largest crowd at Progressive Field this season. On hand was another pitching prodigy, 91-year-old Hall of Famer Bob Feller, who fanned 15 in his first major league start as a 17-year-old in 1936.

“It’s real refreshing to see anyone with such talent come into the league,” said Feller, who sat in his usual seat in the press box. “He’s got a good repertoire. He’ll have good days and bad, but he’ll have a lot more good than bad throwing 100 miles per hour. I wish him well.”

Posted: June 13, 2010 at 09:30 PM | 74 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: indians, nationals

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   1. McCoy Posted: June 13, 2010 at 09:52 PM (#3558268)
When he was lifted by manager Jim Riggleman after walking two in the sixth to load the bases, Strasburg was booed by many of the same fans who came to see if the phenom was for real.

Since when did Cleveland fans turn into Philadelphia fans?
   2. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 13, 2010 at 09:57 PM (#3558271)
Didn't have the control from his first game, but the stuff was all there. I don't know if the mound issues were legitimate or not, but they seemed to legitimately bother him; that probably took away from his focus. If this is how he pitches when it's going bad, that's something the Nats can surely live with.
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 13, 2010 at 10:13 PM (#3558277)
Maybe they were booing Riggleman.
   4. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: June 13, 2010 at 10:14 PM (#3558278)
The guy's feet do seem to be enormous. I wonder if it is fairly common for the mound to get torn up when he pitches.

I was struck by Riggleman's comment when they interviewed him during an inning that Strasburg fit into the clubhouse because he understood that rookies are to be seen and not heard. Not that he was a good guy that everybody got along with or anything like that. I've got a bug up my ass about that "seen and not heard" phrase because of a family member who felt that way about children and frequently had issues with my participation in any conversations during family gatherings. So maybe it's just a saying, and Strasburg doesn't literally curl up in a ball in the corner and wait for his turn to pitch, but ARGHHH anyway.
   5. McCoy Posted: June 13, 2010 at 10:17 PM (#3558280)
Well, he didn't really have all that good of control in his first game either. The Pirates bailed him out on quite a few occasions. I think the good teams are going to feast on this for awhile and Strasburg is going to run into pitch count troubles very quickly. I foresee a lot of strikeouts, a lot of walks, and a lot of 5th inning exits for Strasburg the rest of the season.


edit: Now Justin what did we tell you about talking at the dinner table when the adults are talking?
   6. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: June 13, 2010 at 10:23 PM (#3558286)
I thought they were saying Boo-urg.
   7. Crashburn Alley Posted: June 13, 2010 at 10:25 PM (#3558287)
Personally, I thought Strasburg's complaints about the mound were legit. TBS replay showed him sliding a good four inches after landing. I believe it was in the at-bat where he walked Travis Hafner.
   8. McCoy Posted: June 13, 2010 at 10:29 PM (#3558291)
From the zoom ins that MASN was showing the area where Strasburg was landing was really torn up. At least from the angle of the camera it looked like a couple of massive holes in the ground.
   9. Chris Needham Posted: June 13, 2010 at 10:32 PM (#3558292)
It's not that he has bad control; it's that he sometimes has bad command. He's usually in (or near) the zone with his pitches, but not always close to where the catcher sets up.

I've seen him 5-6 times, and that's pretty much a constant with him. You can get away with it when you have his stuff.

The mound complaints were legit. There were one or two pitches where he actually skidded a bit. I'm actually surprised that Riggleman left him in that extra batter, considering how crappy the mound was, and how clearly it was in his head.

At least the Midges wouldn't cause someone to blow out their knee.
   10. McCoy Posted: June 13, 2010 at 10:42 PM (#3558296)
Control, command whatever you want to call it Strasburg doesn't have it yet at a consistent major league level. The guy gets incredible movement on his pitches but he doesn't quite have the skill to put it where he wants it to go every time. That is okay I think he'll get there but I do think he probably should not have come up just yet. He really does have more things to work on and could benefit by doing this away from the spotlight of the major leagues.
   11. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: June 13, 2010 at 10:53 PM (#3558301)
He's not going to get any better by blowing away minor leaguers. Everyone in the majors is trying to get better, that doesn't mean they shouldn't be in the majors yet. He's clearly qualified to be in the bigs, he's not overmatched so his development won't be impeded. He's exactly where he needs to be to practice what he needs to practice.
   12. Chris Needham Posted: June 13, 2010 at 10:56 PM (#3558303)
[10] Hilarious! Oh, wait... that was serious?

You can't look at today's start and do any sort of analysis of his command. The mound WAS a problem with his control, and eventually, it started getting into his head a bit.

And seriously, if this is a disaster, keep in mind he gave up 2 hits and struck out 8!
   13. McCoy Posted: June 13, 2010 at 11:00 PM (#3558305)
Where did I say it was a disaster? Where did I say I was only looking at this one start? You yourself said he sometimes has bad command I'm not sure how me saying the same thing is hilarious.


He's exactly where he needs to be to practice what he needs to practice.

Really? Being in a place where the whole baseball world is watching, commenting, analyzing, and snarking is exactly where he needs to be to hone his craft?
   14. spike Posted: June 13, 2010 at 11:08 PM (#3558309)
In all honesty, I have not seen much snark (outside of here, anyway). People seem to genuinely want him to succeed.
   15. jwb Posted: June 13, 2010 at 11:12 PM (#3558310)
Being in a place where the whole baseball world is watching, commenting, analyzing, and snarking is exactly where he needs to be to hone his craft?
If the players in AAA can't lay off of his out of the zone offerings, yes.
   16. McCoy Posted: June 13, 2010 at 11:31 PM (#3558322)
In all honesty, I have not seen much snark (outside of here, anyway). People seem to genuinely want him to succeed.

And that will continue? Have you met the internet?

If the players in AAA can't lay off of his out of the zone offerings, yes.

Then you ignore the AAA batters. The point isn't to have a 0.50 ERA in the minors the point is to get him to harness the power of his arm. Would that be easier to do in the minors or in the majors? Is Riggleman going to be able to appease the world when they ask him why Strasburg got shelled and he answers, "well, we wanted him to work on his slider so we had him throw a ton of sliders today"?

Furthermore Washington is in a position right now that if they have to send Strasburg down it will be viewed as a disaster. You can delay his call up but sending him down is next to impossible once you called him up.
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 14, 2010 at 12:03 AM (#3558336)
Great players should play against the best as soon as it is reasonable. The kid looks great. Throw him off the pier and find out what's real.

I am so d#mn sick of this mollycoddling BS worrying about someone's mental state. If he's going to cry for momma better you find out sooner than later and dump the candy#ss
   18. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: June 14, 2010 at 12:16 AM (#3558342)


Then you ignore the AAA batters. The point isn't to have a 0.50 ERA in the minors the point is to get him to harness the power of his arm. Would that be easier to do in the minors or in the majors? Is Riggleman going to be able to appease the world when they ask him why Strasburg got shelled and he answers, "well, we wanted him to work on his slider so we had him throw a ton of sliders today"?


What exactly did he get out of destroying AA and AAA for a few months? Absent service time considerations, it seems clear that Strasburg could've gone straight to the majors. I mean, I don't recall him working on any pitches in the minors or altering his approach. The best way to develop is to get him pitching against the highest level of competition he can handle - which is clearly major league hitters.


Furthermore Washington is in a position right now that if they have to send Strasburg down it will be viewed as a disaster. You can delay his call up but sending him down is next to impossible once you called him up.


Yeah, short of an injury you can't do that. But if you're not pretty sure that Strasburg can hold his own in the majors right now, this doesn't matter.
   19. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 12:27 AM (#3558348)
I am so d#mn sick of this mollycoddling BS worrying about someone's mental state. If he's going to cry for momma better you find out sooner than later and dump the candy#ss

That is all well good when a player cost a team about as much as a pack of bubble gum but when you have 15 million dollars invested in him you tend not to want to take a sink or swim mentality with your investment.
   20. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 12:30 AM (#3558350)
What exactly did he get out of destroying AA and AAA for a few months? Absent service time considerations, it seems clear that Strasburg could've gone straight to the majors. I mean, I don't recall him working on any pitches in the minors or altering his approach. The best way to develop is to get him pitching against the highest level of competition he can handle - which is clearly major league hitters.

So because the Nationals didn't set up an effective training program we should not ignore training and development altogether?

Yes, if Strasburg was just another pitching prospective and not the MATT WIETERS of pitching prospects the Nationals could let him learn the ropes in the major leagues. But he is THE MATT WIETERS of pitching prospects and so he and the club are going to be under a microscope. Would it have really killed the Nationals or Strasburg if they had waited until September to call him up? I'm not saying Strasburg should stay in the minors until he is 25 I'm simply saying that Strasburg could have benefited from staying down in the minors for another month or two.
   21. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 14, 2010 at 12:31 AM (#3558351)
Post 19:

It's a competition. At some point it's time to see if the lad can handle the big city.
   22. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 12:41 AM (#3558357)
It's a competition. At some point it's time to see if the lad can handle the big city.

I certainly understand that but would the Nationals have lost anything if they had simply waited until after the ASB? Until August? Until September?
   23. Esoteric Posted: June 14, 2010 at 12:43 AM (#3558359)
Seriously, McCoy seems to know as much about handling young talent as Lou Piniella.
   24. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 12:49 AM (#3558361)
Steve Stone is that you?
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 14, 2010 at 12:57 AM (#3558367)
I am so d#mn sick of this mollycoddling BS worrying about someone's mental state. If he's going to cry for momma better you find out sooner than later and dump the candy#ss

But the only "mental state" problem Strasburg had was a wholly legitimate worry that his left foot was going to go out from under him when he planted it on what seemed more like an anthill rather than a mound of tightly packed clay. But I'm pretty sure that the Nats are going to be checking the state of the mound before the games from now on, and I doubt if this is going to be a problem going forward.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:04 AM (#3558369)
I foresee a lot of strikeouts, a lot of walks, and a lot of 5th inning exits for Strasburg the rest of the season.


I agree with this, but I don't see what Strasburg has to gain from being in the minors.
   27. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:04 AM (#3558370)
Strasburg is *exactly* where he needs to be right now. MLB is absolutely the best challenge he could face and he's good enough to be challenged and learn and adapt and succeed. Getting challenged by the best is his best bet to adapt and get better.

And ... the conceptual difference between "command" and "control", in scouting terms, is pretty ####### basic.
   28. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:08 AM (#3558371)
Take it to the grammar police.
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:11 AM (#3558373)
Furthermore Washington is in a position right now that if they have to send Strasburg down it will be viewed as a disaster. You can delay his call up but sending him down is next to impossible once you called him up.

Send him down? Strasburg is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA. He's not going to ever pitch in the minor leagues again unless it's an injury rehabilitation stint coming off the disabled list.
   30. hokieneer Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:16 AM (#3558375)
22/5 K/BB in 12.1 IP. I think he's in the league he needs to be in.
   31. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:19 AM (#3558377)
Seriously. His two starts make me think that he could have started the season in the Nats rotation. He's been spectacular.
   32. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:23 AM (#3558379)
He has pitched against the dregs of the league save for Milwaukee and one or two others.

Still done good
   33.   Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:27 AM (#3558381)
Seems obvious to me that the fans were booing the fact that he was coming out of the game.

People seem to get their panties in a bunch so easily about SS. Don't get it.
   34. Esoteric Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:28 AM (#3558382)
Incidentally, the Cubs and White Sox are currently no-hitting EACH OTHER through five, on ESPN.
   35. AROM Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:29 AM (#3558383)
I don't know if the mound issues were legitimate or not, but they seemed to legitimately bother him; that probably took away from his focus.


They were legit. On one of his pitches in the 5th inning he skidded about 4-5 inches after his lead foot hit the ground. Kind of scary, that's a way to sprain an ankle. I think it was a freak thing and don't expect it to happen regularly.
   36. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:31 AM (#3558385)
Take it to the grammar police.


On Yahoo.com, sure. On ESPN? Well, ok. On BBTF? Sheeit, take it like man, son.
   37. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:31 AM (#3558386)
Speaking of the Sox Andruw Jones has lost the tummy
   38. Esoteric Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:39 AM (#3558389)
Wow. The Cubs/Sox are STILL no-hitting each other through six.

And both teams have only 9 strikeouts between them. This cannot last.
   39. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:42 AM (#3558391)
Ted Lilly has always struck me as a guy who could no hit a team. Pitches inside, always around the plate and when "on" he gets a good number of strikeouts
   40. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:49 AM (#3558402)
Wow. The Cubs/Sox are STILL no-hitting each other through six.


Lilly still through 7, but the Blackhawks are singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" ... Chicago is feeling it here in the bottom 7th.
   41. Esoteric Posted: June 14, 2010 at 01:50 AM (#3558403)
I guess we should take this to the Cubs/Sox gamethread.
   42. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 14, 2010 at 02:40 AM (#3558456)
People still Game Chatter?
   43. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: June 14, 2010 at 03:03 AM (#3558463)
On one of his pitches in the 5th inning he skidded about 4-5 inches after his lead foot hit the ground. Kind of scary, that's a way to sprain an ankle.

More likely pull a hammy, and possibly hurt the arm while trying to compensate.
   44. Steve Phillips' Hot Cougar (DrStankus) Posted: June 14, 2010 at 03:34 AM (#3558476)
On the pitch I saw where he skidded, he could have turned an ankle, pulled a hammy, hurt his arm or his back, or any part where he had load.

It was pretty ridiculous.

I haven't seen a mound that messed up since the Houston 600...
   45. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 14, 2010 at 03:57 AM (#3558485)
Strasburgh might already be one of the best starters in the MLB. His debut may have been the most dominant first start ever. Sending him down is a terrible idea. If he starts to struggler, then you can send him down to work on things, and he'll fix em and come back to dominate like many great players have when sent down early. But a starters job is to strike out batters, don't walk them and not give up home runs. He's been world class at the first, good at the second, and only so so at the third.
   46. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 05:09 AM (#3558511)
Nobody is saying send him down now. What I said was that Strasburg is a young pitcher that is still developing, quite obviously, and a month or two extra in the minors away from the glare of the major leagues probably would have given him a better atmosphere to hone his craft than the majors. Now quite obviously not knowing Strasburg personally I don't know if it matters to him where he perfects his skills and perhaps it won't matter. But for most human beings being away from the spotlight is generally the most preferred area to practice in and yes I know that even in the minors he would have gotten attention.
   47. Lars6788 Posted: June 14, 2010 at 05:22 AM (#3558513)
I think the 'honing your craft in the minors' can apply to the top 10-15 pitching prospects in professional baseball in one given year, but Strasburg is a once in a lifetime talent who probably could have skipped the minors all together i.e. Mike Leake.

My favorite grumbling I've heard about Strasburg was whether or not he could dominate in the pro ranks and not merely against the Mountain West Conference opponents San Diego State played.

Nobody is saying send him down now. What I said was that Strasburg is a young pitcher that is still developing, quite obviously, and a month or two extra in the minors away from the glare of the major leagues probably would have given him a better atmosphere to hone his craft than the majors. Now quite obviously not knowing Strasburg personally I don't know if it matters to him where he perfects his skills and perhaps it won't matter. But for most human beings being away from the spotlight is generally the most preferred area to practice in and yes I know that even in the minors he would have gotten attention.
   48. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 14, 2010 at 05:31 AM (#3558516)
What I said was that Strasburg is a young pitcher that is still developing, quite obviously, and a month or two extra in the minors away from the glare of the major leagues probably would have given him a better atmosphere to hone his craft than the majors.
In this case, I don't think it'd matter. Strasburg was obviously too good for his level; he was more likely to get bored than learn anything new in the minors. He also had a massive entourage of media covering every one of his starts, and he had to know that the organization was monitoring his every pitch as if their lives depended on it. It was as crazy an atmosphere as any minor leaguer could go through, and he was completely dominant despite all the hubbub. What else was left to do?
   49. Lassus Posted: June 14, 2010 at 09:50 AM (#3558540)
   50. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 11:56 AM (#3558570)
I certainly understand that but would the Nationals have lost anything if they had simply waited until after the ASB? Until August? Until September?

Ticket sales?
   51. DKDC Posted: June 14, 2010 at 12:34 PM (#3558594)
Ticket sales?

This, and concession sales, parking revenue, TV ratings (leading to higher ad revenue), retail markup on merchandise sales, etc.

Millions of dollars, in other words.
   52. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 02:23 PM (#3558677)
They wouldn't have lost millions of dollars they simply would have delayed receiving those millions of dollars.
   53. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 14, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3558695)
Young pitchers are always learning, or at least they should be. Take another look at Ubaldo Jimenez: The Rockies called him up to their starting rotation in 2007 because he was one of the five best starting pitchers in the organization, not because he was ready to take over the world.

Clearly he still had a lot to learn about pitching. He was pretty good then, but nowhere near the otherworldly beast he's been this year. But no one ever suggested he needed to be a Cy Young candidate before he started plying his trade in the majors.

The Nationals called up Strasburg because he can help them win games, and he can help them sell tickets. Those are the two best reasons in the world. If he still has room to grow as a pitcher, that only makes him like every other 21-year-old pitcher on the planet.
   54. TribeGuy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 02:41 PM (#3558696)
As an Indians fan who was curious I drove up from Columbus to see Strasburg pitch yesterday. He was impressive. He reached 100mph 7 times and generally was throwing comfortably around 96-98mph and had good breaking balls he could throw for strikes.

Hafner hit a rope out to the vistors bullpen in the second, but that was the only hit he gave up until he started having control issues.

From the upper deck (and I suspect most of the seating) you couldn't tell anything about the state of the mound. However to me it seemed when Strasburg began struggling to throw strikes he started using the mound as an excuse. None of the other pitchers who pitched either for Washington or Cleveland seemed concerned about the mound.

In addition, the two delays Washington requested for the grounds crew all took place as the Indians seemed to be rallying.

Strasburg was clearly reaching his pitch limit when he came out, but his exit came shortly after the second grounds crew delay as the Indians were loading the bases.

From my perspective the majority of the booing was a result of the Nationals' effort to blame the mound for Strasburg's wildness and as if taking him out was some sort of statement that Strasburg couldn't be expected to perform (and get out of the mess he was in) with those mound conditions.

(Of course Storen came in and quickly dispatched Branayan and Peralta, pretty much sucking all of the air out of the stadium for Indians' fans dreaming of a possible come-back.)
   55. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 02:53 PM (#3558706)
Clearly he still had a lot to learn about pitching. He was pretty good then, but nowhere near the otherworldly beast he's been this year. But no one ever suggested he needed to be a Cy Young candidate before he started plying his trade in the majors

And no one is suggesting that Strasburg needs to be a Cy Young candidate either.
   56. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 14, 2010 at 03:39 PM (#3558735)
Izanhoe, that mound issue wasn't an excuse, it was reality. Strasburg's 6'4" and his stride is very long, and by the time the other pitchers came in, the problem had been solved (after two attempts, I might add). But on the TV replays you could easily see his foot give out from under him, and he could easily have injured himself.
   57. Kurt Posted: June 14, 2010 at 03:52 PM (#3558748)
Ticket sales?

This, and concession sales, parking revenue, TV ratings (leading to higher ad revenue), retail markup on merchandise sales, etc.

Millions of dollars, in other words.


They're also 5 1/2 games behind in the wild card race and 6 games behind the division leader. I don't expect them to make up the ground either, but crazier things have happened.
   58. TribeGuy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 05:25 PM (#3558821)
St. Nick,

Huff didn't seem to have any issues. Though clearly he has a different landing spot than Strasburg.

I don't dispute that the mound may have been a problem. I was trying to address the attitude of the crowd, who didn't have the benefit of close-up replays of Strasburg's landing. I think the problem was legit. But the work of the grounds crew did become a distraction from the game in a way that appeared to help the Nationals snuff out a potential rally.

I just hope Strasburg's mechanics don't cause this to happen in other venues. (Or give opposing grounds crews ideas of how to screw with Strasburg, if his landing spot is so unique from other pitchers.)
   59. phatj Posted: June 14, 2010 at 06:20 PM (#3558899)
And no one is suggesting that Strasburg needs to be a Cy Young candidate either.

Just what are you suggesting then?

Clearly Strasburg is good enough to hold his own in the majors right now. In view of his stuff, his minor league track record, and his early major league success, it's arguable that he's one of the top starters in the majors, right now, i.e. a Cy Young candidate. Yet you're suggesting that he could have used additional seasoning. For God's sake, why?
   60. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: June 14, 2010 at 06:36 PM (#3558918)
Aren't you paying attention? It's because he's not yet a perfect pitcher. Sometimes he gives up hits and walks. How can he become the next Sidd Finch unless he practices in solitude?
   61. Esoteric Posted: June 14, 2010 at 07:11 PM (#3558944)
McCoy has really...embarrassed himself in this thread. Oof.
   62. Rants Mulliniks Posted: June 14, 2010 at 07:15 PM (#3558949)
"They wouldn't have lost millions of dollars they simply would have delayed receiving those millions of dollars."

No, they would have lost them. Those games won't be played again. McCoy, you are the only poster here that feels the way you do, so from that I conclude that you are wrong in thinking Strasburg should have been left in the minors until some later date. Today he is the best pitcher in the organization, not just the best prospect. His presence on the team improves it, dramatically (insofar as one pitcher can). Will he get better? Yes, few players peak at 21. Its not like he's a David Clyde, 18 and fresh out of high school. If he had all these same skills coming out of high school your arguments might apply.
   63. Natty Fan Posted: June 14, 2010 at 07:42 PM (#3558975)
Izanhoe,

Thanks for the home crowd perspective. Watching on television yesterday, I was curious if the booing was because the fans didn't want Strasburg taken out, or if they were mad at the Nats (and Strasburg) for all the mound work.

Can any Tribe fans give me the cliff notes on David Huff? Watching him through 5 innings, I was really impressed with his stuff. When I looked up his numbers, I was a little surprised how low his K/9 is, and his disappointing season (so far).
   64. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 14, 2010 at 08:24 PM (#3559019)
Isn't it the case that phenom pitchers, as opposed to phenom hitters, are more often fully developed by age 21 or 22?

What I'm saying is that we've seen more pitchers dominate the majors in their early 20s than hitters.
   65. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 09:00 PM (#3559048)
thank god we have esoteric to tell us how we perform. Granted he made a fool of himself with his lou can't do youth line but hey, who is keeping track.
   66. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 09:05 PM (#3559051)
re 62

I may very well be the only person who thinks this now but I might not be the only one thinking it after 10 starts or 15 or 20.

as for the money; so strasburg will never have a first game if they wait? Your statement can only be true if the impact of having strasburg pitch is constant forever.
   67. Don Malcolm Posted: June 14, 2010 at 09:25 PM (#3559076)
In the earlier Strasburg thread, I misspoke regarding the ratio of walks to 3-ball counts: tne 30% figure I quoted was for the percentage of walks on full counts, which as you would expect are the most numerous (comprising just under 70% of all "plate-appearance-ending" 3-ball counts. The 3-0 and 3-1 counts result in a much higher percentage of walks (around 70% of 3-0 and 3-1 counts result in walks).

Overall, then, the walk to 3-ball count ratio is more like 45%. In yesterday's game, Stephen Strasburg went to the other side of the curve wrt this aspect of things: he had six three-ball counts, and wound up with five walks. His mound opponent, David Huff, was pretty close to the average ratio result: six three-ball counts, three walks.

So it appears that Strasburg was as unlucky with walks to 3-ball counts yesterday as he was lucky with respect to these in his first start.

Another intriguing ratio is the one between two-strike counts and strikeouts. The average pitcher gets to a two-strike count about 46% of the time. Randy Johnson got two-strike count in 54% of his BFP. (A soft-tosser like Allan Anderson would get two-strike counts in just under 40% of his BFP.)

Strasburg has gotten to a two-strike count 57% of the time.

It gets more interesting, though. Great K pitchers like Johnson still only convert a bit more than half their two-strike counts into K's (Johnson's career average is 51.6%).

In his two starts, Strasburg has converted 81% (22 out of 27) two-strike counts into Ks.

Over his entire career, Johnson had only nine games where he converted 80% or more of his two-strike counts into Ks. (He had 58 starts where his K-to-2-strike ratio was between 70-79%, however.)

Strasburg did it in his first game (87.5%, 14 out of 16). Johnson had only two games equal to or higher than that, in 1997 and in 1999.

Strasburg converted 78% of his 2-strike counts into strikes yesterday.

Johnson had a total of 21 starts where he had a K-to-2-strike ratio of 77% or higher. The greatest number of times he did it in the course of a single season was six times, in 2001. He did it 3 times in 2002, and twice in 1997 and in 2004.

Against admittedly inferior competition, Strasburg did it in his first two starts.

In case anyone is wondering what Karl Spooner's K-to-2-strike ratio was in his 15-K debut against the Giants in September of 1954, the answer is 65% (15 out of 23).

Strasburg's ratio is clearly going to drop as he faces better hitting teams and the league gets more scouting data on him, but it will be very interesting to see exactly where that ratio ultimately settles out at. Randy Johnson's best year for this, in 2001, was just under 60% (59.5%, to be exact).
   68. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: June 14, 2010 at 09:26 PM (#3559078)
as for the money; so strasburg will never have a first game if they wait? Your statement can only be true if the impact of having strasburg pitch is constant forever.


They only play 162 games this year. Every game that Strasburg pitched in the minors was a loss of revenue that they can't get back. Strasburg has the potential to be a phenomenal draw for the rest of the season.
   69. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 14, 2010 at 10:07 PM (#3559113)
St. Nick,

Huff didn't seem to have any issues. Though clearly he has a different landing spot than Strasburg.


Strasburg seemed to be the only one with a problem, but then Strasburg was the only one whose foot hit that soft spot.

I don't dispute that the mound may have been a problem. I was trying to address the attitude of the crowd, who didn't have the benefit of close-up replays of Strasburg's landing. I think the problem was legit. But the work of the grounds crew did become a distraction from the game in a way that appeared to help the Nationals snuff out a potential rally.

That's interesting, since when I heard the boos I assumed it was because they were chafed because they came out to see Strasburg and didn't get their full money's worth, sort of like the way a crowd will sometimes boo if their own pitcher intentionally walks a visiting slugger they've come to see.

I just hope Strasburg's mechanics don't cause this to happen in other venues. (Or give opposing grounds crews ideas of how to screw with Strasburg, if his landing spot is so unique from other pitchers.)

If any ground crew tried that sort of a stunt, especially on a franchise pitcher like Strasburg, that might wind up getting the manager a deservedly long suspension. That goes way beyond gamesmanship. But in any case, I'm sure that Riggleman is going to make mound inspection one of the first orders of business in every game from here on out---wouldn't you?
   70. McCoy Posted: June 14, 2010 at 11:18 PM (#3559163)
They only play 162 games this year. Every game that Strasburg pitched in the minors was a loss of revenue that they can't get back. Strasburg has the potential to be a phenomenal draw for the rest of the season.

And he would be a phenomenal draw next season or next month or whenever.
   71. Kurt Posted: June 14, 2010 at 11:27 PM (#3559170)
And he would be a phenomenal draw next season or next month or whenever.

He still will be, if he pitches anything like he has.

Plus, there's always a chance he could blow his arm out. Next month or three months from now isn't guaranteed, for anybody.
   72. Hugh Jorgan Posted: June 15, 2010 at 12:21 AM (#3559231)
They're also 5 1/2 games behind in the wild card race and 6 games behind the division leader. I don't expect them to make up the ground either, but crazier things have happened.

Though I agree and understand what you are getting at here, the fact is that the kid is now against the correct opposition. The other issue is eventually you have to consider your fanbase. The fans want to see this guy...not just National fans, but all baseball fans. They want to see him against the best. Personally I'd like to see how he goes against Albert Pujols should that opportunity arise.
   73. TribeGuy Posted: June 15, 2010 at 03:05 PM (#3559706)
If any ground crew tried that sort of a stunt, especially on a franchise pitcher like Strasburg, that might wind up getting the manager a deservedly long suspension. That goes way beyond gamesmanship. But in any case, I'm sure that Riggleman is going to make mound inspection one of the first orders of business in every game from here on out---wouldn't you?


I agree. This sort of thing would go beyond typical home field advantage kind of stuff. Though obviously teams do things to give their guys an advantage at home. (Grow the grass longer on the infield, etc.) Or as we know some ballpark configurations favor certain kinds of players, left handed pull hitters for example.

Still if it were possible to mess with a particular player, without causing your own players a similar disadvantage wouldn't a team be tempted to exploit that?

I guess it depends on what we are talking about.

Turning on the AC blowing in towards home plate in the Metrodome during the top half of the inning?
Yelling "my ball" as you run pass a fielder camped under a pop-up on the basepaths?
Tell Turk Wendell he's not allowed to brush his teeth between innings in the dugout?
Stealing Joboo's rum before a game?

Some are clearly black and white, others more grey.
   74. A.T.F.W. Posted: June 15, 2010 at 03:15 PM (#3559716)
Can any Tribe fans give me the cliff notes on David Huff?

Finished last season and started this season showing a ton of potential, and has been really inconsistent. I think he has the stuff to be a solid #3 starter.

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