Stephen Strasburg wasn’t perfect last night, but his 10-0 start shows just how valuable he is to the Washington Nationals.
When the Washington Nationals signed Stephen Strasburg to a 7-year, $175 million contract extension earlier this year, the team knew they were taking a risk. Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery earlier in his career, and despite his unquestionable talent and potential, the 27-year-old right-hander had never won more than 15 games in one season.
But the Nationals also knew they were dealing with one of the best pitchers in the game. Regardless of what his career numbers showed, the Nationals knew what Strasburg is capable of when he’s at his best. And so far in 2016, that’s exactly what he’s been — at his best.
More from District on Deck
- Latest DraftKings Sportsbook Promo Code in Maryland: Bet $5, Win $200 Guaranteed
- Nationals Claim Jeter Downs Off Waivers
- Washington Nationals Minor League Spotlight: Robert Hassell III
- Washington Nationals Tuesday Q&A
- 3 Free Agents the Nationals Should Gamble On
With just over a third of the season in the books, Strasburg has already recorded 10 wins this year. In 13 starts, the right-hander is 10-0 with a 3.03 ERA and 110 strikeouts. He’s just one win and 45 strikeouts away from matching his totals from 2015.
Strasburg earned his 10th win last night against the Phillies, becoming the first pitcher this season to reach double digits in the win column. The Nationals beat the Phillies, 9-6, with Strasburg allowing four runs and striking out 10 batters over seven innings of work.
Now, Strasburg was far from perfect in last night’s start, and we can’t ignore the four runs he surrendered — which marked only the third time this season that Strasburg has surrendered more than three runs.
But the fact that he recovered after allowing those early runs and still pitched deep into the game just goes to show how good of a pitcher Strasburg has been this season. The right-hander could’ve let his early struggles dial up his pitch count and chase him from the game. Instead, he got back on track and pitched seven innings, while picking up an impressive 10 strikeouts.
When a game in which you pitch seven innings and strike out 10 batters is considered one of your worst starts of the year, you know you’re having a pretty good year.
Strasburg kept his team in the game, he helped save the bullpen by going seven innings, and once his team gave him the lead, he didn’t look back. That’s what an ace does, and that’s what Strasburg has done all season.
Strasburg has now given up seven runs over his last two starts, but there’s no reason to be concerned about him. The right-hander has been dominant all season long, and there’s no reason to believe that his dominance won’t continue throughout the summer and down the stretch.
Stephen Strasburg has long been considered a pitcher with a wealth of potential that he hadn’t yet reached over the course of a season. But based on how he’s performed so far in 2016, it seems like the Strasburg that many have been waiting for since his 2010 debut has finally arrived.