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 one.
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.