Tonight's Top 5:
5. Stephen Strasburg Is Here: With the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" blaring over Nationals Park's loudspeakers, Strasburg throws two-straight balls the capacity crowd thinks are strikes then gets a line drive to Ian Desmond to record his first Major League out. The Stephen Strasburg era has officially begun. It takes Strasburg 11 pitches to get through the first, 8 of them fastballs ranging from 97-99 and three of them curves, including two-straight to Lastings Milledge for a swinging K to end Strasburg's first Major League inning. Asked after the game to go over that first strike out, Nats' catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, who fought back from lower back issues to make it into the game tonight, makes it short and sweet:
Pudge Rodriguez: "I think we did fastball, fastball, curve ball...and that's it. Very quick."
"Fastball, curve ball, curve ball," one reporter corrected the catcher.
"Yeah, very quick," Pudge Rodriguez responded with a huge smile.
4. THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! Solo shot to right-center with two down in the Nats' first and the Face of the Nats' franchise just gave the Arm of the Nats' Franchise his first lead. Zimmerman's 12th HR of the year comes on an 0-1 fastball from Pirates' starter Jeff Karstens and goes out to right-center and over the out-of-town scoreboard for a 1-0 Nats' lead...
3. Delwyn Young Goes Yard!! The Mighty Stras didn't make a mistake, Young went down to get a low 1-0 change, and lifted it to right-center, over the out-of-town scoreboard for just the second HR of the season hit off Strasburg at any level and the first he's surrendered in his Major League Career. 2-1 Pirates after four innings. In the post game press conference, however, the Nats' Future Hall of Fame catcher said that this one wasn't on Strasburg:
Pudge Rodriguez: "This kid is unbelievable. The most amazing thing to me is that he's around the plate, he throws strikes and he's always in the strike zone. Especially guys that young like Stephen, you know, they always come and get behind in the count, but he didn't do that today. He just attacked the strike zone, we threw some breaking balls for strikes, I mean pretty much all the breaking balls we called Stephen threw for strikes....there was one changeup that I shouldn't have called, I should have gone with the fastball, but that's part of the game..."
2. SHAKE N BAKE!!! SHAKE N BAKE!!! Adam Dunn goes deeeeeeeep to right and out of the park off Pirates' right-hander Jeff Karstens to give the Nats' and Strasburg a 3-2 lead in the seventh. And Josh Willingha--STOP HAMMER TIME!!! Josh Willingham goes deeeeeeep to left and GONE!!! 4-2 Nats!!!! Jeff Karstens is no Strasburg!! And the Kid is in line for a win!!! Willingham and Dunn both hit their 11th home runs back-to-back to put the Nationals up 3-2 and then 4-2 and give the Washington Nationals and Stephen Strasburg the lead after six.
1. I BELIEVE!!!! I BELIEVE!!!! Stephen Strasburg is done after 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 14 K's, 94 pitches, 65 strikes, 5 groundouts, 1 flyout and he leaves with a 4-2 lead, in line for his first Major League win. But it's how he ends the game that really cemented this as one of, if not thee greatest nights in the short history of the Washington Nationals, striking out 8 of the last nine batters he faces including 7-straight to end his first major league start, after which he leaves the mound to applause unlike anything anyone has ever heard coming from the DC Faithful, who showed up more than 40,000 strong to support the '09 no.1 overall pick, and then, when he came back out for a curtain call showered him in another rapturous ovation. Asked what it was he would remember about his MLB debut, the Nats' future current ace got off the best line of the night too:
Stephen Strasburg: "You know the only thing I really remember is the first pitch, and it was a ball inside. Everything else is just such a blur. At one point I lost track of how many innings I threw, and it was like, man, you know what, I'm just going to go out there and have fun and it's amazing, you know, it's kinda like when you get married and everything, you go into it wanting to remember everything and once it's done you can't remember a single thing."
• Miss The Game? The DC Faithful Were Watching...
|Num||Name - Comments|
|1||TJL - 99|
|2||Nationalpastime - 99|
|3||RoscoeNats - 78|
|4||bluelineswinger - 70|
|5||Miss B - 70|
|6||BloggerVance - 68|
|7||PhDBrian - 67|
|8||grizzy - 59|
|10||Dave at NNN - 27|
|11||Tmv950 - 25|
Final Score: Nats 5, Pirates 2.
Nationals now 28-31.
FULL GAME REPORT:
1 - Pirates' center fielder Andrew McCutchen lines a 2-0 pitch to short, Ian Desmond makes a defensive stab, one down, and Nats' starter Stephen Strasburg is officially a major leaguer. Neil Walker grounds a 3-1 pitch to first, Adam Dunn handles it, then Strasburg takes care of Lastings Milledge with back-to-back two-strike benders to get his first major league K and his first scoreless frame...Cristian Guzman and Nyjer Morgan hits back-to-back groundouts to start the Nats' first, and Ryan Zimmerman GOES YARD!!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!! THE KIDS CALL HIM ZIM!!The Face of the Franchise just gave the Arm of the Franchise his first lead. 1-0 Nats on Zim's 12th dinger. Adam Dunn grounds out to the catcher to end the first.
2 - Garrett Jones swings through a two-strike fastball, 2 K's for Strasburg. Delwyn Young gets a breaking ball inside that's just plain brutal, 3 K's. Andy LaRoche gets the first hit off Strasburg, sending a line drive to right field with two down. Ronny Cedeno goes down flailing, 4 K's, two scoreless for Strasburg...Josh Willingham flies out to left. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez doubles into the left field corner and pulls up hard, thinking about third. Roger Bernadina grounds out to first. Two down. Pudge to third. Ian Desmond grounds to short to end the second. Still 1-0 Nats.
3 - Two-strike curve, outside corner, sit down Jason Jaramillo. 5 K's. Jeff Karstens gets a high-90's two-strike heater and he doesn't have a chance. 6 K's. Two down. Andrew McCutchen grounds sharply to third, Zim plays there, throw to first and three scoreless for Strasburg...Groundout to short, Ronny Cedeno throws Strasburg out. Cristian Guzman flies out to center, two down. Nyjer Morgan singles to right off Pirates' second baseman Neil Walker. Ryan Zimmerman grounds to short, Cedeno bobbles and tosses to second for the force.
4 - Neil Walker has the second hit of the night off Strasburg, with a line drive to right to start the fourth. Lastings Milledge goes the other way with a fastball outside for the second-straight hit to start the fourth. Garrett Jones grounds to short, Desmond to Guzman to Dunn double play. Walker to third. Delwyn Young up with two down and he goes down and gets a 1-0 pitch and lifts it to right and over the out-of-town scoreboard, HR, 2-1. Andy LaRoche pops out to end the Pirates' fourth...Adam Dunn starts the fifth with a liner to right that falls in for a single. Josh Willingham grounds to third, Andy LaRoche takes the force at second. One down. Hammer's safe at third on an errant throw. Pudge sneaks a single through second, Hammer goes first to third. Hit and run works to perfection. Roger Bernadina lines to left, Willingham tags up and gets thrown out at home by Lastings Milledge...Still 2-1 Pirates.
5 - Ronny Cedeno swings through a two-strike fastball for Strasburg's seventh K. 7 K's!! Jason Jaramillo ground out to Adam Dunn at first. Two down. Jeff Karstens stares a 1-2 curve in cause there's nothing he can do. 8 K's!!!...Ian Desmond and Strasburg both ground out to short, two down quickly in the Nats' sixth. Cristian Guzzzzzman sneaks a two-out single by first to keep the sixth alive. Nyjer Morgan lines out to second to end the sixth.
6 - Andrew McCutchen goes down chasing a 91mph two-strike fastball. 9 K's!! One down. Neil Walker gets a rising two-strike heater and that's Strasburg's 10th K!!! 11TH K!! Milledge gets a brutal 90+ change and doesn't have a chance!!! Strasburg's through seven, with 11 K's. Nats still trail 2-1...Ryan Zimmerman starts the Nats' seventh with a broken-bat single through short in front of Adam Du---SHAKE N BAKE!! SHAKE N BAKE!!! DEEEP TO RIGHT AND GONE!!! TWO-RUN BLAST!!! 3-2 NATS. Josh Willingha-STOP! HAMMER TIME!!!!!! Back-to-back jacks and Stephen Strasburg has the lead. 4-2 Nats!!! Evan Meek replaces Karstens. Pudge Rodriguez grounds out to second. Bernadina flies to left. Desmond grounds out to second. 4-2 Nats after six.
7 - Garrett Jones down swinging!! 12 K's!!!! Delwyn YOUNG DOWN SWINGING!!! 13 K's!!! And LAROCHE DOWN SWINGING!!!!!! 14 K's!!!! I BELIEVE IN STEPHEN STRASBURG!!! I BELIEVE!!!!!...Willie Harris hits for Strasburg, or more accurately K's. Cristian Guzman grounds weakly to short. Two down. Nyjer Morgan grounds to third to end the seventh.
8 - Tyler Clippard takes over for Strasburg and gives up a leadoff single to Ronny Cedeno. Jason Jaramillo down swinging. Ryan Church down swinging. Two down. Andrew McCutchen up, Cedeno steals second. McCutchen flies out to right, 4-2 Nats after seven and a half...Javier Lopez on for the Pirates. Ryan Zimmerman starts the Nats' seventh with a soft fly into right. Adam Dunn slices a single into left. Two on, no outs. Adam Kennedy on to run for Dunn. Josh Willingham walks to load the bases. Ivan Rodriguez grounds into a double play, Zim scores, 5-2 Nats lead. Roger Bernadina grounds to short to end the eighth.
9 - Matt Capps comes on to close it. Neil Walker's down looking, one. Lastings Milledge grounds out to Ian Desmond at short, two!!! Garrett Jones grounds to first, Adam Kennedy tosses to Matt Capps covering, 1-2-3 the NATIONALS THE NATIONALS WIN!! THE NATIONALS WIN!!!!