Turns out it was actually impossible to avoid hearing the results the Triple-A debut of the Washington Nationals' '09 no.1 overall pick, 21-year-old right-hander Stephen Strasburg before his first start with the Syracuse Chiefs was replayed following the Nats/Marlins game last night. If you were at the game, they were putting updates on the center field scoreboard, if you were listening on radio there were regular Triple-A updates throughout the broadcast, ESPN had updates on their highlight shows, (minor league baseball on ESPN?), and even on MASN, which was showing the game on a tape-delay last night, they couldn't help but hype the right-handed flame-thrower's continued dominance of minor league hitters. Making just his 6th minor league start, the Nationals' future ace retires the first 10 batters he faces, striking out 4 and inducing 6 groundouts with a fastball in the high 90's and a brutal low 80's curve that has the Gwinnett Braves' hitters off-balance all night.
After giving up the one-out single in the fourth, it's K no. 5 and another groundout to strand the first runner Strasburg lets on. A leadoff walk in the fifth is followed by three straight groundouts, and two more ground balls and a backwards K end Strasburg's first start for the Chiefs after 6.0 IP. 65 pitches, 45 for strikes, 12 groundouts, 0, 0, 0 flyouts, 6 K's, and 1 walked batter...After Strasburg, Jason Bergmann throws a quick seventh giving up only a two-out single, and left-handed reliever Atahualpo Severino throws a scoreless eighth to set up the Nats' second '09 first-rounder Drew Storen, who throws a scoreless ninth, giving up a single but retiring the side with just 7 pitches, 5 of which are strikes.
Six starts down, if you believe in the Plan, as most people understand it, the DC Faithful are now just 4 starts away from seeing Stephen Strasburg in the nation's capital...and with the way some in the big league club's bullpen are pitching, there's little doubt the Nats will make room for Storen come early June.
• Strasburg Gameday (MiLB.com).
• Strasburg's 2010 Stats: (4-1), 1.29 ERA, 6 GS, 28.0 IP, 14 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 7 BB (2.25 BB/9), 33 K's (10.61 K/9),