On Tuesday night, the Atlanta Braves will travel to Washington D.C., to take on the Nationals and the young phenom Stephen Strasburg. This is not the first time Strasburg has faced the Braves, on June 28th, he took the loss after giving up three runs through 6.1 innings. Only one thing was missing that game, fellow National League rookie of the year candidate Jason Heyward.
When Heyward steps in for his first at-bat Tuesday night, it will be the first of many between the two young stars. As division rivals, Strasburg and Heyward could possibly face each other many times a season throughout their careers, barring a trade or free agency.
There has been a national media hype around Stephen Strasburg since he was drafted first overall by the Nationals last year. The same has been true for Heyward who began his legacy with a strong showing in spring training and a spot on the Braves opening day roster.
If it weren't for the Nationals taking their time with their prized pitcher in the minors, it is very possible that these two could have been teammates for the National League during the Midsummer Classic. Although some argued for Strasburg to be in the game, he was not selected to the team, unlike the Braves outfielder making the all star team his rookie year.
Tuesday night will merely be a showcase for the young talent of the NL East and the futures of these division rivals. The division also includes the likes of rookies Ike Davis of the Mets and Mike Stanton of the Marlins, both of which seem on their way to being future all stars.
Strasburg may embarrass Heyward with a devastating "slurve" or get taken deep by the young Brave but either way, this is a match-up that baseball fans should look forward to for years to come.