The talk after Strasburg’s first Grapefruit League outing was less focused on the results (he struck out three and gave up just one hit in two scoreless frames) than the process.
Strasburg did not work with a windup, pitching exclusively out of the stretch against the Cards.
“I feel like as I’ve gotten older, for whatever reason, the windup has just been an issue as far as getting that right feeling of staying on the mound,” he explained in a post-start talk with reporters.
“I feel like I’ve always been able to maintain my stuff out of the stretch even when I would just slide-step exclusively, so I worked on it in the offseason, it felt good, felt good today, so I think it’s just something that I’m just going to continue to work on.”
Dusty Baker said he was fine with the decision as long as Nationals’ pitching coach Mike Maddux was on board.
"If Mike don't have a problem with it, I don't have a problem with it," Baker said after the start, as quoted by MLB.com’s Jamal Collier.
“He’s very comfortable with it,” Maddux told MASN on Tuesday when asked about the thinking behind the change.
“He wants to repeat his delivery. He understands that sometimes in his windup he’s inconsistent with it, but out of the stretch, he’s more consistent, stays more on line.
“But I like it because we have more avenues: We can hold the ball, we can slide-step, we can quick-pitch, we just have more bullets we can throw at them without ever delivering the pitching, just based on your delivery and your holds.”
How will start No. 2 of the Strasburg experiment work out? Find out at 1:05 PM EST this afternoon when the Nationals take on the Cardinals.
Here’s the Nationals’ lineup for this afternoon’s matchup with the Cards:
NOTE: Today’s game is available via the Cards’ feed on MLB.tv at 1:05 PM EST. On MLB.tv. The game is on MLB.tv. At 1:05. On MLB.tv. At 1:05.