CLEVELAND - JUNE 13: Drew Storen #58 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the game on June 13, 2010 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
I thought it was impressive enough that Washington Nationals' Future Closer Drew Storen had been able to get out of the bases-loaded one-out jam he inherited from his fellow '09 1st Round pick, Sunday's starter Stephen Strasburg, without allowing a run. Storen stranded three, getting an infield fly from Russell Branyan with a 96mph fastball upstairs that would've clipped the top of the zone if Branyan hadn't popped it up, and striking out Jhonny Peralta with a 96mph fastball up and inside a pitch after he dropped an 84mph slider in for a strike that the veteran Peralta had had to foul off. Then I read Nats Insider.com's Mark Zuckerman's in-game Tweet (@markzuckerman) about how the 22-year-old right-handed, "...rookie reliever @DrewStoren has inherited 12 runners this season and not allowed any of them to score."
On TBS after Strasburg's second win he was asked what he thought about Storen's efforts in "bailing" him out of the situation he'd created by giving up a one-out single and back-to-back one-out walks as he battled unsure footing on the mound an inning after a four-run frame had given the Nats a 6-1 lead. Strasburg's response?:
"He's a bulldog coming in and you know he's going to go out there show the hitter everything that he's got. He came in and pitched really well, and what more can I say, he just comes in and gets it done."
Everything Storen's got yesterday included a fastball that he threw anywhere from 93-97mph, a sinking fastball at 89, slider at 83-85mph and an 84mph curve. 29 pitches, 18 strikes, 1 hit, 2 K's, one flyout, one groundout, 1.1 IP. On the year, in DC at least, Storen's now (2-0) in 12 games and 11.2 IP over which he's given up 8 hits, 3 R, 2 ER and 5 BB (3.86 BB/9) with 8 K's (6.17 K/9) while posting a 1.11 WHIP, 1.54 ERA, 3.28 FIP, +0.2 WAR, .196 BAA, .243 BABIP...Is that enough? And that's after he went (2-1) with a 1.23 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9 and 10.7 K/9 in 41 games and 53.2 IP over two seasons in the Nats' system in which Storen earned 15 saves. The Nats' 2nd '09 1st Round pick earned his first curly-W in his second major league appearance, when will he get the chance to earn his first major league S.
(ed. note - While the Nats' Future Closer had off Monday night, the Seattle Mariners were playing the St. Louis Cardinals in an Interleague matchup which featured the fourth appearance this season by the Nats' old Flat-Brimmed Closer Chad Cordero, who threw a scoreless frame in which he allowed only a walk. The 28-year-old '04 Expos' 1st Round draft pick threw a fastball in the 88-89mph range, threw a slider, a change and needed just 14 pitches, 7 strikes to get through the frame. I haven't said it yet, but welcome back, Chief.")