Evan Pritchard for Amazine1
Let it be remembered as long as the outfield grass shall grow that Steve Strasburg made his major league debut for the Washington Nationals on June 8th, 2010 and blew away the Pirates 5-2. Although a two run homer by D. Young marred his ERA and prevented Strasburg from getting a shutout through seven, what shall never be forgotten is his strikeout to walks ratio: 14 to nothing.
Here are some of the amazing stats for Strasburg’s seven inning debut that might not make headlines elsewhere or be remembered forever but are remarkable nonetheless.
During the game, Strasburg not only gave up no walks, but got to 3 balls on a batter only three times: once in the first, once in the second and once in the fourth. After that, he never gave up so much as a third ball.
Strasburg struck out 14 men in seven innings, so 66.66% of the outs were strikeouts.
The last seven batters struck out against Strasburg.
The last two strikeouts were on three pitches each.
The last seven pitches were strikes.
In the last three full innings, Strasburg missed the strike zone only 7 times, and only 4 times in the last two. During those three innings he threw only 38 pitches. Although throwing alot of change ups, his average speed during the last three innings was 93.07 MPH. (95.7, 89.8, 93) (ESPN gun was 1 mph faster, so it would be 94)
He not only retired the last 10 batters, but struck out eight of the ten.
He threw 94 pitches.
Although he gave up a home run to nay-sayer Darvin Young, he then struck him out on three successive 99 (100?) mph pitches on the next at bat.
Only J.R. Richard and Karl Spooner have struck out more men in a debut. It is clear to this journalist that Strasburg was improving inning by inning and was becoming unhittable, so that it was likely he would have struck out Cedeno if he had been allowed to pitch the 8th and probably Jaramillo, thereby setting a major league record for strikeouts in a first appearance. His pitch count should have been 100 like everyone else’s. I’m sure it would have done the trick.