The Strasburg Files Episode 3- Conference Play

Warmup

  • Sorry this took so long, I was out of town over the weekend doing a little snowboarding. I actually didn't make it to the game but I sent my correspondents out to do the scouting for me. I edited it and cleaned it up but the following analysis was mostly brought to you by gaslampballer TJB.
  • Conference play started this week with a three game series with UNLV. After we won the first game behind Strasburg, SDSU completed the three game sweep and moved to 3-0 in conference play and 11-6 overall.
  • Possible injury report. In one inning there was a ground ball to Strasburg, but the 1st baseman wasn't  there to cover, so he had to try to beat the runner to the bag. He came down in the most awkward slide to beat the runner to the base, his legs were like a pretzel and he was on his side. Right after that he starts kicking up his leg in a backward motion, I couldn't tell if it was his ankle or knee that was bothering him.  Pitching coach and trainer came out to check on him.  It looked like it was bugging him, but he finished the inning with no problems.

Stats

Aztecs 4 runs on 9 hits and no errors

Rebels 3 runs on 7 hits and no errors.

WP: Stephen Strasburg (4-0)

LP: Jeff Urlaub (2-1)

S: Addison Reed (5)

Stephen Strasburg

7IP 6H 2ER 1BB 14K 28 BF

2.57 ERA 18 K/9 1.3 BB/9 14/1 K/BB 1.00 WHIP

Season

(4-0) 27.1 IP 59 Ks 18 H 6 ER 5 BB

1.98 ERA 19.4 K/9 1.6 BB/9 11.8 K/BB 0.84 WHIP

General Analysis

Strasburg threw quite a lot of offspeed stuff, I'm pretty sure most (if not all) the hits off of him were from breaking balls.  His velocity was good, but I'm guessing a little less than normal for strasburg (I had no view of a gun reading), but he would crank it up a notch a few times throughout the game.  A lot of bats missed his fastball, it seems that whenever he turned on the heat, they had no chance to make contact, it was obvious.  He was hard and down most of the night, very few pitches were up.  Very few foul balls, less than 10 by my count.  It was a bit of an up and down night, totalling around 113 pitches, he may have thrown a few too many breaking balls, but he still amazed with 14 Ks over seven innings.A great night and a good game.  It was really more of a battle for Strasburg, and its good to see him able to pitch quite well even when not everything is going his way.

Inning by Inning

  1. Struck out the side using about 15 or so pitches, one started as a 3-0 count. (SDSU scored 3 in the bottom, some nice room for strasburg)
  2. Within 3 pitches total, the 1st two batters got base hits, he left a couple of breaking balls up.  The next batter got a backwards K, strike two was swinging and he was WAY overmatched. 6 pitches and 2 K's later, he was out of the inning, way to finish strong and strand those runners.
  3. A tough inning for Strasburg.  He started of with a strikeout flashing a nice slider. The next batter walked on 5 pitches and stole second, on a good throw that the infilder just couldn't hold on to. Next batter hit a single up the middle (I think the SS was trying to position for a pick-off play) taking the runner to 3rd base.  During the next AB, Stras is called for a balk (I didn't catch it, but lots of people were calling it out) and both runners advance, scoring the 1st run for UNLV (3-1 aztecs).  Pitching coach came out to the mound to calm him down, and he eventually struck out the batter, and induced a groundout to the next batter to end the inning with no further damage.
  4. Can he bounce back? Of course he can, this is Strasburg.  Backwards K, K and a flyout to left in a total of 11 pitches.
  5. Can he get in a groove? That's what the stras does!  Backwards K in four pitches, the next hitter was all setup 0-2 after being totally overmatched on some wicked fastballs, but then he threw 3 off speed pitches in a row and the batter stayed back on the last one for a single, the pitch selection was a bit questionable there.  He induced a double play ball in 3 pitches to the next hitter.
  6. 3 pitch strikeout, but runner advanced to 1st on a WP. Next hitter doubles in a run.  He followed up with a strikeout, overpowering the hitter on the final 2 strikes.  During the next AB, he got another visit from the pitching coach when the count was 1-2.  He proceeded to get a ground ball to 2B, advancing the runner to 3rd.  He got behind the next hitter, but then with two strikes the 10th man lent him a hand, so he turned up the heat and put another K up on the board.
  7. Stras had thrown a lot of pitches, 95 by my unofficial count, but he still went out for the 7th.  A questionable hit (by my notes at least, it could have been ruled an error) on the infield put the lead man on.  The next batter sacrificed to advance the runner.  Next up, this is where the batter grounded to Stras, and he had to hustle to 1st base for the out, sliding ackwardly and twisting his legs, afterward he got up and was kicking his foot up to his thigh. The trainer and coach came out, but he insisted that he was ok and stayed in, causing a roar in the crowd.  He got ahead of the next batter 0-2, but then took the count full before he flied out to right field.

That was the end of the night for Strasburg. The closer Addison Reed came in and tried to blow the win but managed to keep it under control and the final score was 4-3 Aztecs.

 

Next Game

The next game Strasburg is scheduled to pitch is Thursday, March 19th against BYU at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Stay tuned baseball fans!

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