We get it.
Stephen Strasburg is the greatest thing since sliced bread. There's even a rumor that Tim Tebow wears Strasburg pajamas. Usain Bolt could actually run the 100 meters faster if he wasn't afraid that he would get close to the fastest thing alive moniker, and everyone knows that's reserved for Strasburg's fastball.
We get it. Now can all you sportswriters and analysts quit it.
Look at the reports after Strasburg's loss Monday against the Atlanta Braves:
ESPN: "Stephen Strasburg pitched well enough to win Monday night. But the Nationals didn't give him any support in Atlanta"
Harper Gordek: "Well Strasburg pitched well enough to win, but Hudson pitched better. Some bad fielding made the difference which has been the story recently for the Nats Nothing really changes—the kid is still really good, the team is still really bad."
MLB.com: "Strasburg finds groove against Braves"
On behalf of all baseball fans everywhere, please, for the love of the game we hold dear, quit it.
Strasburg is a great rookie pitcher, there's no denying that. But the storyline should not, and can not, just be about him. Strasburg gave up six hits and two walks against the Braves, not to mention four runs. On the other side, Tim Hudson, the wily veteran returning from Tommy John surgery, pitched seven scoreless innings, all while suffering from the same poor fielding Mr. Gordek excuses Strasburg for.
After wowing us with his 14 K debut against the AAAA Pirates, Strasburg has in his next four starts pitched like a mere mortal, compiling a sub 2.00 ERA (before the Atlanta fiasco), allowing five runs and 19 hits.
He's a good young pitcher, and if he continues like this for more than five starts, then yes, I could even bear people calling him great. Even Hall of Fame worthy. Just give it a couple of years, maybe 10.
But please, above all else, call it like it is. Strasburg pitched well for awhile tonight, but not well enough to win. He lost, not because of poor fielding by his bumbling Nats, nor an act of God, not even a vast Right-Wing conspiracy. He lost, because pitchers lose. It hurts to say it, but they do.
So in a week, when the dynamo Strasburg steps up to the mound, let's all try to be a little realistic, maybe even a little open-minded, and call it like it happens.
Unless of course he actually does part the Red Sea...