Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Strasburg Shuts Down Padres
There’s an old saying in baseball that momentum only goes as your next day’s starting pitcher. Coming off back-to-back wins against the Brewers, the Nats turned to Stephen Strasburg, who has arguably been the team’s best pitcher this month. With the win last night, Strasburg is 3-1 with a 1.73 ERA in four starts this month.
Last night, against the Padres, Strasburg went six innings, gave up two runs on two hits, struck out seven, and walked one on 102 pitches (65 strikes). After giving up that two-run homer to Gyorko in the second, Strasburg retired the final 15 batters he faced before Casey Janssen came in to pitch the seventh inning.
The key pitch for Strasburg last night was his four-seam fastball. According to Brooks Baseball, 65 of his 102 pitches were four-seamers. 46 of those pitches were for strikes and he produced nine swings and misses. Plus, the Padres had difficulties hitting flyballs against Strasburg when you consider that their first fly ball out to the outfield did not happen until Cory Spangenberg flew out to center with one out in the sixth inning.
Finally, the one thing to keep an eye on with Strasburg is his command. Over his last four starts, he has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 32:3. It is one thing to have an average velocity of 97 miles per hour on a fastball, but it’s another thing to command it. So far, Strasburg has been able to do both and has been one of the most, if not the most consistent starter in this rotation.
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