Remember where you were on June 8, 2010. That was the day where, more likely than not, the future face of the MLB debuted. His name: Stephen Strasburg.
Strasburg’s debut was probably the most hyped debut in the history of any professional sport. The craze over the 21 year old started when the Washington Nationals drafted him with the first pick in the 2009 first-year player draft.
While many expected him to start the 2010 season in the majors, the Nationals, for good reason, decided to test him at Double-A and Triple-A. To say he mastered his tests would be an understatement. So, the Nationals decided it was time for Strasburg to make his mark in the show. That’s exactly what he did.
Strasburg made his debut against the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates; a good team to get your feet wet against, a AAAA-team. But, don’t let his opponent skew your judgment of his start. Strasburg dominated the Pirates in many different ways, with the only hiccup being a two-run home run by Delwyn Young.
In the much-anticipated debut, Strasburg pitched seven innings, allowing just two runs. And just after his first start, Strasburg already finds himself in the Nationals’ record book. Strasburg struck out 14 Pirates, a Nationals franchise record for strikeouts in a game. Strasburg just missed out on the all-time record for strikeouts in a debut which is 15.
But the two pitchers who hold that record both pitched complete games. One can assume that if pitch count wasn’t such a big part of today’s game that Strasburg would have broken that record.