Stephen Strasburg Continues Dominance: Eyes on the Prize in Syracuse

Matthew CohenContributor IMay 8, 2010

ALTOONA, PA - APRIL 11:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Harrisburg Senators pitches against the Altoona Curve in his minor league debut during the game on April 11, 2010 at Blair County Ballpark in Altoona, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

On Friday night at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, NY, Stephen Strasburg made his first AAA start on his road to the big leagues. With a sellout crowd in attendance to see his Chiefs debut, Strasburg continued to show why he is rated by Baseball America as the top pitching prospect in baseball.

From the first pitch, it was clear Strasburg was far superior to his competitors. He displayed a healthy mix of velocity and location, hitting 99 mph on the radar gun while only walking one. Strasburg also featured a 90 mph change-up and a curve ball ranging from 80 to 85 mph.

Strasburg was perfect through the first three innings, retiring the first nine batters he faced. Despite a seeing eye single through the middle of the infield in the fourth inning, Strasburg was as good as Nationals fans could hope.

In six dominant innings, Strasburg surrendered only one hit and one walk. With only a handful of solidly struck balls and six Ks, it is becoming clear that the Nationals will pick up another solid starting pitcher sometime in June when Strasburg arrives in DC.

As if his dominance on the mound wasn't enough, Strasburg also showed a proficiency at the plate. In his first AAA at-bat, Strarburg scorched a grounder into right-center field, driving in the first run of the game. To top it off, he added another RBI in his second at-bat, driving in a runner from third with a sacrifice bunt.

Boasting a much improved bullpen and starting pitching, don't be surprised if the Nationals continue their strong start throughout the rest of the summer.