Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stephen Strasburg Dominates Pittsburgh Pirates' Single-A Affiliate at National's Stadium

Can a pitcher be awarded the Cy Young after one outing?

For the first time since he was invited to a Bowie Baysox game for DBSF's Director of Content and Media's 3rd grade birthday party, DBSF watched more than one inning of baseball. (Author's note: It turns out that baseball is a 9 not 7 inning game. Did little league miss something?)

The extended televisual experience was due to the arrival of Stephen Strasburg, perhaps the most-hyped rookie in DC sports history (certainly of the decade). To say that Strasburg was dominant is like saying there might be an oil leak somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico--a gross understatement.

Strasburg made the Pittsburgh Pirates (who DBSF just learned did in fact field their MLB squad) look like an Outer Banks semi-pro ball club--the kind of baseball team that everyone has a cousin or cousin's friend on. It's not just that he gave up only two runs in 7 innings and, struck out an astounding 14 batters (including the last 7 he faced), but it's the fact that he was K'ing batters with so few pitches (he threw a total of 94 on the night).

Further, the Pirates' batters had less than no idea of where the ball was going. They were lost--I mean DBSF in the batting cage on 70 mph; Derek Rose on the SATs asked for the antonym of 'esoteric'. No idea. None. In the second inning, one of three in which Strasburg struck out three batters, after whiffing at 3 or 4 pitches you could almost see the Pirates' batter look to the dugout and think 'WTF am I supposed to do?' Lastings Milledge, who already hugs the Mendoza Line like it's a teddy bear, looked like he was swinging dental floss at a tic-tac.

Of course, the Strasburg haters will say: 'What about the two earned runs on four hits?' Law of large numbers, contrarians. Straburg throws nothing but strikes. Those Pirates batters were swinging blind as a bat, and it was only a matter of time before they connected on one or two. And, when you're pitching 98 mph heat, like Strasburg does, bunts go to the warning track. Therefore even the lowly Delwyn Young can go yard on the almighty Strasburg.

Although never a fan of making generalizations on small sample sizes, DBSF thinks it might be time to start believing the Strasburg hype.

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