9 Observations From Strassy’s 2nd Start

1. We get to do this every fifth day. This is just setting in now, and it is awesome. Case in point, this was the first time I’ve recorded a Nats game. Appointment programming! Let’s do it again Friday!

2. He didn’t have the good stuff. The fastball wasn’t hitting triple-digits, the curveball wasn’t falling off the table and the location wasn’t there. He still held Cleveland to two hits and one run in five-and-a-third. (Update: Despite what MASN’s gun was saying, Strasburg actually hit 100 nine times.)

3. He showed human emotion. The Strasbot 2010 kicked some dirt after issuing his fourth walk, prompting the grounds crew to come out and fix the mound, which was really irritating Strasburg.

4. Drew Storen saved his ass. Strasburg’s fellow 2009 first-rounder inherited and escaped a bases loaded, one-out jam. After 11.2 major league innings, Storen’s ERA is actually lower than St. Stephen’s.

5. Strasburg “is definitely a road show.” That was Rob Dibble’s quote, and it was a good one. I’m not sure what the announced attendance was, but Bob Carpenter said the Indians usually draw half that.

6. He needn’t throw strikes. Strasburg got at least three Ks on pitches way out of the strike zone (a fastball high, a sinker low and a curve in the dirt). Of course he did. He’s filthy, even on an off day.

7. The changeup goes deep. His one run allowed came from Travis Hafner’s homer on a low change, which is how Pittsburgh scored too. (Update: Maybe it wasn’t a changeup. Again, MASN’s gun was off.)

8. Dibble continues to be awful. His commentary on the pitch seen below, called a ball: “Here’s the pitch track. That’s strike three.” #firedibble.

9. Good for Adam Dunn. Like Ryan Zimmerman in Strasburg’s debut, a microcosm of Dunn’s fine season was seen in the spotlight as he homered, doubled, walked and leveled Carlos Santana on a non-play at the plate.

14 thoughts on “9 Observations From Strassy’s 2nd Start”

  1. Not sure if he actually hit 100. The MASN pitch speed was way off all day. One fast ball clocked in at 74 mph. Dibble said he was reading off of the scoreboard mph meter. I have a hard time believing a guy who throws a 91-93 mph changeup didn’t hit 100.

  2. Yeah, MASN’s gun was all over the place, but the fastball just didn’t look as fast today, for what it’s worth. Maybe it’s because it was actually slower. Maybe it’s because we’re that much more used to seeing it now. I don’t know.

  3. Also, Dibble may be terrible but he’s not wrong about the strike zone. You know that obviously the umpires have their own strike zone and call pitches strikes to their own accord all day. I think most of his bitching is b/c the umps don’t call a consistent zone. That pitch was called a strike most of the day and then this didn’t get called. You guys have got to cut him some slack on this area.

  4. Dibble seemed to whine too much about the mound. Huff didn’t complain as much as he did. Storen, Clippard didn’t whine as much as he did. I think we have a Prima Donna on our hands.

  5. I’m going to agree with Harrison on the foot slide but disagree on Dibble’s whining about the strike zone.

    In the above example Dibble was talking about the pitch track’s zone, not the ump’s. He looked at the location on pitch track and said, “That’s strike three.”

    It’s that kind of blind, incessant, needless homerism that drives me batty about Dibble. Well, that and plenty of other things.

  6. re: the mound.
    I sat through two years at RFK when it seemed at times at least one visiting starter per series would call for, and get, some mound maintenance.

    Expect more of that. The mound drama today goes in the opponents’ scouting reports.

  7. I’m in Mississippi for a few days. I got the TBS feed. He definitely hit 100 mph several times. His slider was between 90-93. The Eck was just loving it.

    BTW, Dunn is starting to hit a lot of HR. I think he’s hit 4 in the last 6 games. If the lead off guys could every get on base, Zim, Dunn and Wil might actually get some RBIs.

  8. @Randy_Hawkins:

    Storen and Clippard weren’t whining about the mound because the fixed the hole before they came in. Huff and Strasburg were hitting the same place on the mound, but since Strasburg is a couple of inches taller he was hitting the hole awkwardly.

    What I was worried about more was the fact that he couldn’t really locate his change-up well. Most of the ones I saw him throw to lefties were way outside, on counts where he needed strikes.

  9. Yeah, the relief pitchers weren’t complaining b/c they had different landing spots.

    I still think Dibble was calling the ump strikes vs the pitch tracker but lacks the articulation to put that thought together in his head.

    About the pitch speed: (from BLS) “The righty threw 95 pitches (52 of them for strikes) and, according to Jayson Stark, nine fastballs hit 100 mph on the radar gun. Thirty-one measured at 98 or higher.” So the lack of pop was b/c your naked eye was lying to you as was the masn speed gun. And of course if their speed clock is wrong their strike zone couldn’t be off either ;)

  10. Harrison is right on point…If anyone was watching the game Dibble was consistently saying how the Ump continues to give the pitchers that side of the plate…everyone seems to credit the “pitch track” when it helps their point, but then discredit it when it doesn’t…Everyone’s comments on Dibble seem a little blinded by the hatred they have for him…also if anyone looks at that replay and says that isn’t a strike (on a 1-2 count when the ump has been giving that side of the plate to both pitchers all game) you’re crazy…

  11. You know I really don’t have a problem with Dibble. Maybe it is because I followed the Reds for 20 years before baseball finally came back to DC. That being said, Dibble simply sounds like fun/goofy color commentary man who is a true homer. Most everything he says is simply in support of Nats. I enjoy listening to him and he makes me laugh.

    I not quite sure why Mr. Irrelevant and Mr. Sports Bog have it out for him. If you remember back to the 80s when HTS (Home Team Sports) used to broadcast the Orioles games, John Lowenstein did color for them. He used to have some of the wackiest/silliest comments but it was fun listening to him. He said on more than one occasion “He hit the snot out of that ball” or once when a pitch was in the bounced before reaching homeplate to Ripken, “Cal has been hitting the ball well when he’s not swinging at those types of pitches”.

    In the end, I think Dibble needs to be cut some slack. There’s far worse out there (think Tim McCarver for being an absolute idiot or Joe Morgan for acting like he’s god’s gift to baseball and just picks some inane point to make in the 2nd inning and goes on and on and on for the rest of the game about it).

  12. Avery: ding!

    Dibble is priceless on Nats homers. I LOVE him on Nats homers. And he has excellent comments on both pitchers and hitters. Jumping on his misses – man they ALL miss, trust me there – seems to be I-don’t-like-him-no-matter-what-not-changin’-dat’s-IT.

    Speaking of homer. What is WRONG with that? I in fact think it’s cool that didn’t-play-heres like Ron Darling, Ray Knight and Dibble can go homer for our team. They are FUN. (McCarver and Morgan: not so much.) This is the entertainment business. I will take Dib over some dispassionate seamhead, any day of the week.

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