The Strasburg Files Episode 2- Into the lion's den.

Warmup

  • Good news. I talked to a scout from the Rangers, (not sure why he was there with the #14 overall pick), and he said that he was on a west coast swing and only came to watch two innings to pay his due diligence. He said the Nationals have already informed the rest of the teams that they will be selecting Strasburg with the #1 overall pick. Bad News. Stephen will probably be pitching for the big league team in September. :D
  • This game was at University of San Diego's Cunningham stadium. The best way I can describe it is with a backhanded compliment. It's like a really nice little league park. The seats are all bleachers on like a 85 degree angle. I now know why they play their own tournament at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
  • Some USD fan came up to me after the game and asked me how many Ks Stephen had. 18 I said. He goes, "wow that must be some kind of record!" No, I say, he struck out 23 batters in a start last season. He walked away dazed. Actually, it was some kind of record. Most Ks by any pitcher in Cunningham Stadium history, breaking the record of Brian Matsuz of USD (16 Ks) who was the first pitcher selected in last years amateur draft, with the #4 overall pick from the Orioles. (You think there is some pitching talent here in San Diego?) There was probably 2 Aztec fans per every USD fan. We had a good time talking smack.
  • You can see game hilights here.
  • You can see Stephen's post-game interview here.
  • Box Score is found here.
  • Does anyone know why everytime I try to post a link it appears somewhere halfway down the page and I have to cut and paste it?
  • If I do a good job, do I get a cool nickname?

General Stats

Aztecs 5 runs on 12 hits and 0 errors.

No. 11 Torerros 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 errors.

(That's twice we've beaten them so far this season. Three more games against them in the next three days)

WP: Stephen Strasburg (3-0)

LP: Darrin Campbell (1-2)

S: Addison Reed (3)

Stephen Strasburg 8 IP 5 hits 2 ERs 18 Ks 1 BB 29 Batter's faced, 2.25 ERA

20.25 K/9, 1.17 BB/9, 18 K/BB, 0.67 WHIP

Season Stats

(3-0) 20 1/3 IP, 45 Ks, 12 Hits, 4 ER, 4 BBs, 1.77 ERA

19.89 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 11.25 K/BB, 0.79 WHIP

 

Analysis

I heard from some scouts that they wanted to see Stephen under pressure. They wanted to see him get in a bad spot and be able to get out of it. They wanted to see him keep his cool and show his resolve. Today he did that. He gave up a run on two hits in the 2nd inning. He gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk in the 3rd. In the third inning he was in trouble. Big trouble. He came so close to falling apart.

The second batter of the inning, who happend to be the nine hitter, went down 0-2 with some awful looking swings on outside breaking balls. The count ran to 2-2 when he missed with two more outside breaking balls. The next pitch he grooved a fastball down the middle and the nine hitter CRUSHED it probably 450 feet over the fence in left-center. Absolute bomb. By the way, that was only the second HR he has given up in college. Ever. He ran the count full and walked the next batter. You could tell he was overthrowing, trying to get the strikeout instead of letting it come naturally. The runner then stole second. The catcher probably could have gotten him if he didn't double clutch, but whatever. Strangely, he did strikeout the next batter. The three hole hitter came up with the runner on second with two outs and smoked a ball into right field. Corey Vaughn, (yes the son of Greg Vaughn, did I already say that?), picked up his teammate Stephen with a rope to the catcher Erik Castro for the outfield assist. Let me tell you, Stephen is one of the biggest team players I've seen and once his teammate picked him up like that, something clicked. Mind you, this is the first time this season he has been behind in the score.

He was in the zone the rest of the game. Over the last five inning he pitched after his troubling third, he faced 17 hitters. He struck out 13 of them. That included 7 in a row. He did not have another 3 ball count. He gave up one more hit, a single in the 7th. He finished the 8th and faced 4 batters but actually got 3 Ks because of a pass ball third strike. The next batter popped up to end the inning. He had 116 piches by my count. That's around 10 more than last time. He never really labored or anything, his arm seems fine with the pitch count. The only criticism I can think of is that once in a while he overthrew the ball like he was trying to get the K instead of just letting it come naturally. Throwing instead of pitching. It only happend a few times though and he got right back on track with the next pitch.

Inning by Inning Summary

1st- Struck out the first two batters on 2-2 counts before the third hitter grounded out weakly to 1B on the first pitch. 12 pitches.

2nd- First batter crushed a fastball over the CFers head on a 0-1 count. Next batter singled him home on a 1-2 count. Was able to get the 6 hitter to wrap into a 643 DP before striking out the next batter looking to end the inning.15 pitches.

3rd- Inning I talked about in detail above. 8 hitter Ked on a 3-2 count. 9 hitter crushed the 2-2 fastball into orbit. Leadoff hitter walked and stole 2nd. Next guy Ked on a 2-2 before the 3 hitter singled and the runner was cut off at home. 27 pitches, (yikes!).

4th- 63, K, K. 12 pitches.

5th- First batter popped up the first pitch to the 2B. K, K. 11 pitches.

6th- KKK, 11 pitches. Threw one ball that inning. 11 pitches.

7th- K, K, 2-2 single, K. Infield single. SS caught the grounder deep in the hole, nearly threw him out. 17 pitches.

8th- KKK(passed ball), lazy fly ball to center on the first pitch. 11 pitches. Probably could have gone all 9 but good idea not to press the issue.

9th- (Addison Reed, the closer). Single (the SS fielded the ball cleanly but tripped over his own feet). Single, runner advances to third. Uh Oh. Shallow fly out to the RF. Strikeout looking. Single, run scores. Oh no. K. Oh yes. Aztecs win.

Next Game

Stephen Strasburg is next scheduled to pitch on Friday, March 13th, at home in Tony Gwynn Stadium vs. UNLV. I will be there to bring you all the action. Until next time.

 

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