10 Observations From Strasburg’s Debut

The last regular season baseball game I was this excited for wasn’t Opening Night at Nats Park or the Nats’ first game at RFK, no. It was probably 2,131, when Cal took a lap around Camden. Stephen Strasburg’s spectacular debut surpassed even that, which is saying something. Check out his unbelievable line, laid over the postgame revelry:

Ho. Lee. Cow. But wait, there’s more insta-analysis where that came from:

1. Strasburg’s stuff is absolutely filthy. MASN’s gun topped out at 103. SB Nation DC is trying to name his low-80s curveball. His changeup split the difference. He threw all three over and got multiple punch outs with each.

2. He struck everybody out. Everyone in Pittsburgh’s lineup struck out at least once, and his 14 strikeouts are a new Nationals team record. Despite getting pulled after seven he fell just one shy of the Major League record for strikeouts in debut.

3. His command was impressive. Early on I remarked to Chris that Strasburg’s control worries me, because he misses the mitt a lot. Yet he walked no one and got through seven on only 94 pitches.

4. He works fast. So fast in fact that MASN kept missing live pitches while showing replays of previous pitches. This is a good thing.

5. His taste in music is right on. He took the mound and came to the plate to the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” Excellent choice.

6. It’s terrific that Zim homered in the first inning. All eyes were on Mr. Walk-Off, and he delivered. Hopefully this helps folks nationwide realize that he’s one of the best in the game. Related: Zimmerman has that Ripken-esque knack for dropping bombs in notable-yet-meaningless games.

7. That must’ve been so much fun for Pudge. The future Hall of Famer has caught 1,698 ballgames, but never one quite like that.

8. Let’s not forget that the Pirates suck. Lastings Milledge, who has zero home runs, is their No. 3 hitter.

9. Rob Dibble was typically awful. As usual, he complained about the strike zone ad nauseum — once in each of Strasburg’s first three innings. He also said Strasburg hadn’t batted since college, despite the fact that he had four hits in 10 minor league at-bats. I suggest we use Strasburg’s starts as an opportunity to get the #firedibble movement going on Twitter.

10. That was special. When Strasburg struck out the side in the seventh to close the book on an amazing debut I had serious goosebumps. In its way, it was a perfect game, and we’ll never forget what we just saw.

16 thoughts on “10 Observations From Strasburg’s Debut”

  1. Wow. As advertised and then some. Watched the game in a South Baltimore watering hole with people (Orioles Fans) who cheered when Pittsburgh hit that two run bomb. Fucking shameful.

    As Strasburg was just dealing, all I kept thinking about was Peter Angelos and family huddled around an old school rabbit eared TV screaming “RICH! Rich I tells ya! We’re gonna be rich!”.

    What a special night for DC.

  2. That place was electric. No walks. Struck out everyone at least once. Tied the league high for K’s in a game in his debut. I still can’t believe something exceeded expectations in D.C. sports. If anyone thinks this can’t be a baseball town they probably thought it couldn’t be a hockey town 5 years ago either. If you listen closely you can actually hear people jumping ship on the O’s.

    As if the day could get any better I saw London Fletcher walking around alone and going largely unnoticed, I shook his hand an reassured him that he was still a D.C. hero just for being there.

  3. The command thing is interesting to me, as well. On that video of the nasty breaking ball Pudge was set up outside and he missed on the complete other side of the plate. Granted, it still had more break on it BP oil line, but it should be mentioned more than it has been.

  4. I don’t understand why the O’s fans mentioned by Terps77 were such dick heads. Obviously most of us grew up as O’s fans before the Nationals came to town and we still have some rooting interest in the O’s. So those shit bags in that shit hole of a city need to realize that some of us still like O’s but it is apparent that they maybe jealous of our success this season while they continually get their ass kicked everyday

  5. The kid had a great debut but Juan Marichal’s first game in July of 1960 still has to rank as the greatest. I was there and watched him throw a no-hitter until the 7th inning when Clay Dalrymple pinch hit and got a broken bat blooper over 2nd for the only hit of the game against Marichal. He also struck out 12 batters. This one last night has to rank right up there with Juan’s performance. I didn’t see the kid pitch last night, but when Juan pitched he was so dominant it looked like a major leaguer facing high school kids. Congrats to Strasburg.

  6. Surpassed 2131??????????????? I was at that game and there is noooooooo way that Strasburgs first game surpasses that.

    This only proves that you are a moron of massive proportions.

  7. AJ, Johnny, this is an impossible debate, but my side of it is that 2,131 was a coronation. Ripken was king, and we were crowning him. It was a celebration of the past.

    Strasburg’s debut was the arrival of a new king. It was a celebration of the future.

    The two games were very different. 2,131 was more emotional. Strassy’s debut was more exciting. Both were for all time.

    Speaking of, Gary’s comment — No. 8 — is fantastic. I hope we’re talking about last night like that 50 years from now.

  8. Im hoping those guys were cheering just out of spite. Even if youre not a Nats fan, the performance was amazing.

    That being said, Stasburg would .500 or worse with the Orioles. At least he landed on an actual pro baseball team.

  9. Want: A shining Nationals moment without mention of those other guys. Haters or fans of those other guys, pipe down. This should be all about the Nationals.

  10. This is late. But hey.

    I’m getting my first in-person of Strasburg (Strasmus in June!) tomorrow night against the Sox, barring the unforeseen. Other than seeing Michael Jordan for the only time –

    – Birmingham Barons vs. Knoxville Smokies, in Knoxville, 19-whenever-that-was, two walks, one steal, passed me within eight feet on his way out in a MINOR-LEAGUE BASEBALL UNIFORM, and I never watched him play for the Wiz in person because I always wanted to tell everyone, forever after, that the only time I ever watched MJ play in person it was as the DH, and maybe this doesn’t really count because if somebody in my training class hadn’t organized the expedition I wouldn’t have gone, I’m pretty sure –

    – this will be the only time I ever attended a sporting event specifically to SEE ONE GUY.

    I’m bringing my camera. My Dad saw Walter Johnson and Sammy Baugh – there’s the list, them, Ovechkin and Strasburg, period – and I never talked to him about it.

    My kids – who don’t care so much about sports, OK my grandkids – won’t have that regret. I’m taking my pics to them. I’m going to tell them I saw him. And he might be so good that they might even ask me first.

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