Monday, August 22, 2011

Class A: Hickory at Hagerstown

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg faces the Hickory Crawdads tonight at Municipal Stadium.
HAGERSTOWN -- Hello once again from Municipal Stadium, which must mean Stephen Strasburg is pitching tonight. (I can assure you I didn't drive up here just to shop at the outlet mall.)

This is Strasburg's fourth rehab start, and it comes on the heels of perhaps his worst professional outing to date, in which he was tagged by the Lexington Legends for five runs over 1 2/3 innings. Tonight, the right-hander faces the Hickory Crawdads, low-Class A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The big name to watch out of the Crawdads' lineup is leadoff hitter and shortstop Jurickson Profar, an 18-year-old top prospect out of Curacao who enters tonight hitting .286 with 11 homers, 32 doubles and a .396 on-base percentage.

The plan for Strasburg: four innings or 65 pitches, whichever comes first. Mike Rizzo and Mark Lerner are here to watch in person. I'm here, too, and I'll be providing updates during each of Strasburg's innings of work. Obviously, I won't be in D.C. for tonight's game against the Diamondbacks, but I'll post a game thread for that one shortly...

Where: Municipal Stadium
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
TV: None
Weather: Clear, 74 degrees, Wind 9 mph out to RF
HAGERSTOWN (70-55, 30-25 second half)
CF Michael Taylor
3B Blake Kelso
2B Adrian Sanchez
C David Freitas
RF Kevin Keyes
SS Jason Martinson
DH Adrian Nieto
1B Mills Rogers
LF Wade Moore
(P Stephen Strasburg)

HICKORY (71-52, 31-24 second half)
SS Jurickson Profar
2B Odubel Herrera
DH Tomas Telis
3B Christian Villanueva
CF Jake Skole
1B Alejando Selen
RF Josh Richmond
C Kellin Deglan
LF Jonathan Roof
(P Will Lamb)
7:05 p.m. -- And we are underway with a strike from Stephen Strasburg to Jurickson Profar. Much smaller crowd here tonight than for any of Strasburg's previous rehab starts. There might not be 1,500 people in the stands right now.

7:20 p.m. -- Well, that was another shaky first inning for Strasburg, though not nearly as shaky as last time. He wound up allowing one run on one hit (a single up the middle), a walk and a hit batter (he plunked Profar in the foot with an 0-2 curveball). He did strike out two batters swinging at curveballs, but really was all over the place with that pitch. I'll have to ask one of the scouts here about his velocity later, but it looked fine to me. 27 pitches, 16 strikes in the inning. Hagerstown trails 1-0.

7:33 p.m. -- Now THAT was more like it. Strasburg retires the side in the top of the second, needing only 12 pitches. He got a lazy flyball to left on his first pitch of the inning, then struck out the next two batters (one on a fastball looking, one on a curveball swinging). He's at 39 total pitches, 24 strikes, through two innings. I should also mention that plate umpire Aaron Reynolds has been squeezing Strasburg quite a bit, much to the pitcher's consternation.

7:53 p.m. -- More good stuff from Strasburg in the third, might have been even better had his defense not let him down. He allowed an unearned run after shortstop Jason Martinson airmailed a throw to first for what should have been the third out of the inning. As it was, Strasburg still struck out a couple more batters, including Profar (who got into a nice battle with the right-hander, fouling off four straight pitches before striking out looking at what I believe was a changeup). He's at 60 pitches, so that's probably going to be it for tonight. If so, his final line is: 3 ip, 2 h, 2 r, 1 er, 1 bb, 6 k, 1 hbp, 60 pitches, 40 strikes. Velocity topped out at 98 mph. He did surrender four stolen bases (two of them coming on a double steal, one of them on a pitchout). Hagerstown trails 2-0.

7:58 p.m. -- Strasburg is indeed done for the night. Full story coming shortly.

8:16 p.m. -- Full story is posted on


The Joker said...

I bet the Crawdads put the old hickory on Stephen Strasburg this evening.

Anonymous said...

Wow. The "Crawdads." I love the names of minor league clubs!

I thought the Richmond Flying Squirels was great, but Crawdads is even better.

natsfan1a said...

That *is* a great name!

natsfan1a said...

Speaking of great names, still don't grok why the Winston-Salem Warthogs would change their (imo) awesome name to that of a punctuation mark (Dash), but whatever.

Oldguy said...

It all started with Klinger and his Toledo Mud Hans on M*A*S*H

Anonymous said...

Hens: Mud Hens.

Unkyd said...


JaneB said...

grok=get, understand

Can't wait to read the analysis, Mark. be sure to include your best guess about when we will see him at Nats Park! Even if it's just a guess.

bobn said...

I love the Savannah Sand Gnats...were a Nats farm before switching with Mets....

Anonymous said...

Oldguy: and then continued on The Simpsons, when the owener of the Springfield Isotopes moves the team to Albuquerque; the Albuquerque Isotopes are the current AAA affliate of the Dodgers.

Dave said...

Ah, Hickory, town of my birth.

There were no baseball-playing crawdads there in the early 1950s, though. Actually, not even through the early 1970s, when I graduated high school.

1a, I quite agree with you about the Warthogs. They had a perfectly fine name and changed it to nothing. What's the Dash, anyway?

(Not that I ever actually saw a warthog anywhere in or around Winston-Salem, however.)

natsfan1a said...

Thanks, JaneB. Here's a bit on the derivation, Unk, if you're interested.

Dave, the only warthog I ever saw was in their logo. I've seen and marked plenty of dashes, though, as a one-time proofreader. They could at least have created a mascot named Dot to make it interesting, eh?

Post a Comment