Coming of Ace: Stephen Strasburg Earns Win, Strikes Out 14 in MLB Debut
"Remember where you are so you remember where you were."–Nationals radio announcer Charlie Slowes after Tuesday night's game
Wow. Just wow.
What more is there to say about Stephen Strasburg's debut?
The buzz surrounding the right-handed fireballer reached historic levels before he even signed a professional contract. He was the unquestioned No. 1 pick in the draft last year, jumping to the top of a prospect class that was far more talented than this year's.
The world watched as Strasburg dominated at Double-A and terrorized at Triple-A. Even his most fervent fans couldn't have predicted that he would post a pristine 1.30 ERA with a jaw-dropping 65:13 K:BB ratio in 55 minor league innings.
Expectations could not have been higher for this über-prospect's MLB debut. Nationals Park was sold out. Fans started lining up in the wee hours of the morning to buy tickets.
Strasburg was so good, it was said, he could strike out Chuck Norris—on two pitches.
Now that we've seen him pitch, I believe it.
With just 11 prior professional games under his belt, Strasburg breezed through seven innings on just 94 pitches. He earned a win in his MLB debut, giving up just two runs on five hits without issuing a single walk.
Oh, and he racked up 14 strikeouts.
That's right, 14 strikeouts. He averaged two an inning in his first ever Major League start.
Every batter who Strasburg faced struck out at least once. Five of them saw strike-three twice.
That, my friends, is dominance.
In the words of former Nats radio broadcaster Warner Wolf, "If you picked the season finale of Glee tonight, you lose!"
I wasn't ready to hand Strasburg an armful of Cy Youngs. I wasn't prepared to preemptively vote him into the Hall of Fame, or declare him the future best pitcher of all time. But now, that's changed.
Memo to Cooperstown: start casting Strasburg's plaque.
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