Washington Nationals' Future Watch: Stephen Strasburg's Second Rehab Start, Bryce Harper's 480 ft. Walk-Off.

While the Philadelphia Phillies held a ceremony to honor John Kruk in Citizens Bank Park delaying the start of the first game of the Nats' three-game series with their NL East rivals, Washington right-hander Stephen Strasburg was in Woodbrige, Virginia's Pfitzner Stadium pitching for the Nationals' Class-A affiliate in his second rehab start as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. The first Myrtle Beach Pelicans' batter Strasburg faced, 20-year-old Rangers' infield prospect Leury Garcia got two straight 98 mph heaters one for a called strike and one he swung through before went down swinging at an 0-2 bender in a quick four-pitch at bat. The Nats' right-hander got the second out with one pitch on a groundout to short and was seemingly out of the first when he got another grounder to P-Nats' shortstop Francisco Soriano who threw a step late to first behind the Pelicans' 23-year-old outfielder Travis Adair, at least according to the ump. Strasburg had to use three more of his 50 pitches to get a third groundout to short. 12 pitches total, 9 strikes after one...

The 23-year-old right-hander came back out for the second and started 25-year-old C/1B Vincent DiFazio with a 97 mph fastball for a called a strike. DiFazio tried but missed swinging through an 0-1 bender, then took another curve low for a ball before striking out chasing a 99 mph fastball up high. After surrendering a one-out single, Strasburg got 2010 10th Round pick 22-year-old Jared Hoying looking with an 0-2 curve and after an error stretched him out to 13 pitches the Nats' '09 1st Round pick was at 25 pitches after two scoreless frames when he popped up 22-year-old infielder Andres James to end the second.

It was more of the same in the third, as Strasburg struck out two more batters on eight pitches, one with a curve ball and one with a changeup and got an inning-and-outing-ending grounder back to the mound to leave him at 33 pitches, 26 strikes with 5 K's and four groundouts from the 12 batters he'd faced. After the game the right-hander threw 17 more pitches in a bullpen session to get him up to the prescribed 50 pitch limit before meeting with reporters. Asked about using all of his pitches, Strasburg said, "I tried to treat it more like a normal game. Throw pitches that I wanted to throw in certain counts and it felt better. I was able to throw some strikes, throw some out of the zone and make them chase." 

When a reporter asked if he felt, after an impressive outing like he'd had, like he might get back to where he was pre-Tommy-John, Strasburg didn't hesitate in answering. "Oh, I know that I'm going to be the pitcher that I was. I strongly think that all the work that I put in is going to make me even better. It's only a matter of time, so today's just another step in the process and in five days I'm going to do it all again." 64 pitches and 51 strikes into his rehab, it's easy to see why the right-hander remains confident...

MEANWHILE...

Somewhere in Pennsylvania, (it was Harrisburg's Metro Bank Park) an unknown 18-year-old prospect (2010 no. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper. You know, the kid who threw his helmet.) was stepping to the plate in the ninth with a runner on, after a Leonard Davis single, and his team, the Harrisburg Senators, trailing 2-1 to the Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate of the team he'd worshipped growing up, the pinstriped New York Yankees. 25-year-old, '07 3rd Round pick Ryan Pope went into his windup and threw a full-count breaking ball waist-high and center cut to the left-handed slugger who deposited it some 480 ft from home, over the wall (400ft) and the batter's eye for a tape-measure walk-off homer that you just have to see to believe. As much to believe what sort of hanger he got as how far he hit it. Have a look. Bryce Harper's clutch. If there was such a thing...


• via @hbgsenators on the Twitter and senatorsbaseball on the Youtube.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Join Federal Baseball

You must be a member of Federal Baseball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Federal Baseball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker