The Washington National’s Stephen Strasburg struck out six in three innings of preseason baseball yesterday against the New York Mets. A game that was called in the tenth inning as a 4-4 tie was overwhelmed with great young pitching from both teams. Rafael Montero was the Mets minor league pitcher of the year last season and was given his first preseason start against Strasburg. In just two innings, Montero somewhat struggled giving up three hits and allowing one run.
Stephen Strasburg has often been considered the future of Major League Baseball, and has played great baseball through the beginning of his career. Strasburg has a devastating fastball and one of the best change ups in the game, two pitches that could turn into a great career for any pitcher. According to Yahoo Sports, his curve ball has always been quite deadly, but struggles have continued with his sinker. Strasburg gave up two hits to start yesterdays game off his sinker, which has become a work in progress for the 24-year-old.
“I feel like I’m just kind of throwing through the sink and it’s kind of flattening out,” Strasburg said about his struggles with the sinker. ” I want to throw it a little bit slower, let it move a little bit more and I’ll get better results.”
Six strike outs in three innings is never an oddity in Strasburg’s game, as he finished last season with 197 strikeouts and helped lead the Nationals to the playoffs. The Nationals had a great run, even without Strasburg who was placed on an innings limit by the team. This coming season will be his first without being limited to a certain number of outings and the Nationals expect him to be the platform for the front end of their rotation.
Nationals fans have huge aspirations for the upcoming season with young stars Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper leading the way. Off season pick ups of experienced starter Dan Haren and closer Rafael Soriano have given the team more depth in their pursuit of a World Series. The Nationals take the field today against the Atlanta Braves, and again on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Another bright note to compliment Strasburg’s six strike outs is the return of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman from shoulder surgery in November. According to the Washington Post, Zimmerman has been taking ground balls all Spring, but it wasn’t until yesterday that he began making throws to first from second base. With Zimmerman making strides everyday, coach Dan Johnson expects him to play in Sunday’s preseason game against the Cardinals as the designated hitter.