• Stephen Strasburg Rehab Start No. 5:
The 2-2 curve Syracuse Chiefs' starter Stephen Strasburg drops on Rochester Red Wings' center fielder Brandon Roberts draws "Oohs!" from the capacity crowd in Alliance Bank Stadium, and the Nats' 23-year-old '09 1st Round pick throws a quick 14-pitch first inning, getting two groundouts to end the opening frame of his fifth rehab start of the season and his first at Triple-A.
32-year-old Red Wings' first baseman Jeff Bailey fouls off eight 0-2 pitches before swinging through a 91 mph 1-2 change for Strasburg's second K of the night. K's no. 3 and 4 follow quickly thereafter. It takes Stephen Strasburg 18 pitches to strike out the side in the second, all of them swinging and all on changeups. 32 pitches through 2.0 IP.
Stephen Lombardozzi (moments after Danny Espinosa does the same in Cincinnati) helps Stephen Strasburg with a sliding play and strong throw to first on the grounder up the middle that starts the third off DH Aaron Bates' bat, and two groundouts to short later the Chiefs/Nats' right-hander has a 1-2-3 third on just nine pitches. 41 pitches total through three flawless innings in Syracuse. 9 up, 9 down. 32 strikes, 9 balls.
The fourth inning in Syracuse starts with a one-pitch groundout to second by Brandon Roberts. Strasburg gets up with a first pitch strike to Red Wings' shortstop Ray Chang, drops bender low, 1-1, comes back up with a fastball at 91 for a swinging strike for a 1-2 count before dropping a cruel 1-2 bender out of the zone to get Chang chasing for the swinging K. After he misses with a first-pitch fastball to Rochester outfielder Dustin Martin, Strasburg comes back with a brutal 1-0 change. A foul ball is followed by a 93 fastball outside that gets Martin chasing and gives Strasburg 6 K's in four perfect frames. 50 pitches through four. Strasburg's set all twelve batters he's faced down.
Strasburg misses with a first-pitch curve outside and away to Jeff Bailey in the fifth, but a fastball right there gets a groundout to second on two pitches. 52 total. A fly to left on a first-pitch fastball gives him two outs with three pitches. (That was the first ball out of the infield all night.) Red Wings' infielder Chase Lambin, Strasburg's teammate for a time in Syracuse last season, reportedly texted Strasburg last night to ask if the right-hander was losing sleep worrying about facing him (acc to Syracuse announcers). Lambin takes a first-pitch curve for a called strike. Strasburg misses with a change outside, gets a swinging strike and misses with a curve inside before Lambin chases a 2-2 change into the dirt. 15 up, 15 down. "Think before you text," the Syracuse announcer adds. 7 K's for Strasburg. An eight-pitch frame has him at 58 pitches through 5.0 perfect frames. And he's done for the nigh--
Strasburg comes out back for the sixth with seven pitches left. The first two he throws out of the zone. 2-0 to Rochester DH Aaron Bates, who fouls one off before breaking up the perfect game with a ground ball single through short that makes it to left. Catcher Steve Holm takes a fastball outside and lines a 1-0 pitch to left for the second hit and the end of Stephen Strasburg's sixth start. Craig Stammen comes on to replace Strasburg with two on and no one out. Strasburg leaves to a standing ovation from the Syracuse crowd...
The runners on are his. Craig Stammen walks the bases loaded after a sac bunt, and gives up a single to Ray Chang that allows one of Strasburg's runners in. 1-1. Stephen Lombardozzi stabs a line drive with eyes for right for the second out, and Stammen and Strasburg get help from Chiefs' third baseman Matt Antonelli who makes a tie-preserving diving play at third to end the sixth, still 1-1. Book is closed on Stras.
Strasburg's line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K's, 64 pitches, 47 strikes, 7/1 GO/GO.