Strasburg's second start
By: Sam Smith
June 13, 2010
Stephen Strasburg is 2-0 just like that. His first two starts are out of the way, and you could not ask for a better start for a rookie pitcher.
Strasburg only went 5.1 innings. The five walks that he allowed is what did him in and condensed his second outing.
Although he did walk five batters, he also struck out eight batters. After two starts, Strasburg has a K/9 rating of 16.05. It’s kind of ridiculous.
It’s clear that Strasburg has the ability to be one of the greatest strikeout pitchers the game has ever seen. However, like any other strikeout pitcher he is going to throw a lot of pitches and when you combine that with five walks it’s no wonder his outing was short.
So far, the only runs that major league hitters have scored off of him have come off the home run ball. This measn that he is just like every other pitcher in the league. If he leaves his pitches, especially his off-speed, over the middle of the plate it will get hit. That’s what happened when he left a pitch in Travis Hafner’s happy zone, it was deposited into the right field seats.
Strasburg is a mentally tough man; not much can rattle him. After the homerun surrendered to Hafner he went right back to work and retired the side without any more damage being done.
Overall, baseball fans should be pleased with Strasburg’s second outing. Although he only pitched into the sixth inning, he did give the fans what they wanted to see: strikeouts, high heat and a victory.
Although Strasburg hasn’t had many mistakes to learn from in his two starts, he should begin to understand that even his stuff is hitable in the MLB. Much like any other rookie pitcher, the key is to not rev up and throw fastballs by the hitters, although he is more than capable of doing that, but rather pitch to the corners of the plate.
When Strasburg stops leaving his pitches in the middle of the plate, then we should start seeing some shutouts, and lots of them. Strasburg might be complacent with giving up one or two runs as long as he has the victory, but what he needs to understand is that everytime he takes the hill he has the chance to make history.
An interesting stat: Combined with the seven strikeouts Strasburg recorded to end the Pirates game and the two strikeouts he recorded to start the Indians game, he struck out nine batters in a row. The record is 10.