Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Stephen Strasburg makes his second rehab start tonight at Pfitzner Stadium.
The plan for Strasburg tonight: Three innings or roughly 45-50 pitches. I wasn't in Hagerstown Sunday for his first start, so this is the first time I've seen him pitch since that fateful night at Citizens Bank Park nearly one year ago when his ulnar collateral ligament tore. I'll be interested to see not only how hard he throws, but also how he commands all of his pitches.
The working conditions here at the Pfitz are ... well, this isn't a major-league ballpark. The press box has room only for the two radio announcers, scoreboard operator, official scorer and one local writer. So the rest of us schlubs will be sitting on the metal bleachers in the stands. Hoping to be able to provide updates here, so please check back. I'll also post a Nats-Phillies game thread shortly, so please use that for tonight's game commentary...
MYRTLE BEACH at POTOMAC
Where: Pfitzner Stadium
Gametime: 7:05 p.m.
Weather: Mostly sunny, 82 degrees, Wind 1 mph in from LF
STARTING LINEUPS3:30 p.m. -- And yes, you read the name of the Myrtle Beach center fielder correctly: Ryan Strausborger. That's just too good to be true.
POTOMAC (53-62, 24-22 second half)
SS Francisco Soriano
2B Jeff Kobernus
LF Destin Hood
DH Brian Peacock
RF Archie Gilbert
1B Steven Souza
C Sandy Leon
3B Jose Lozada
CF Eury Perez
(P Stephen Strasburg)
MYRTLE BEACH (63-52, 23-23 second half)
SS Leury Garcia
1B Jared Boldin
DH Travis Adair
RF Jared Prince
C Vinny DiFazio
CF Ryan Strausborger
LF Jared Hoying
3B Chirino Santiago
2B David Paisano
(P Wilfredo Boscan)
6:46 p.m. -- Just about ready to get going here, and the stands are nearly at capacity. About every third person here is wearing a Strasburg T-shirt or jersey. Just to warn you: The wireless connection has been spotty. If for some reason I lose it, I'll still be posting updates on my Twitter page.
7:05 p.m. -- And we're underway. Strasburg's first pitch to Leury Garcia is a 93-mph fastball for a strike. Because this ballpark faces west, all left-handed hitters are looking directly into the sun. Cause facing Strasburg isn't difficult enough.
7:10 p.m. -- Pretty impressive first inning for Strasburg. He struck out Garcia, then got three straight groundballs to shortstop. No. 3 hitter Travis Adair beat his out, just barely on a bang-bang play that had the crowd booing. The radar gun here on the scoreboard appears to be a bit off, because it was saying he threw a few curveballs 98 mph. That said, his fastball definitely was hitting 98 consistently. 12 pitches, 9 strikes.
7:27 p.m. -- Tell you what, this guy looks pretty sharp to this untrained eye. Strasburg struck out a pair in the second inning, one on a 99 mph fastball, one on a wicked curveball that had Jared Hoying totally fooled. He did give up another infield single to doppleganger Ryan Strausborger -- I think I felt a ripple in the space-time continuum on that one -- and saw another batter reach on an error by Jeff Kobernus. Nobody has hit the ball out of the infield, though. Through two innings, he's thrown 25 pitches, 19 strikes.
7:43 p.m. -- A 1-2-3 third inning for Strasburg, who recorded a pair of strikeouts on 90 mph changeups, then got an easy comebacker for an 8-pitch inning. The bullpen is warming, so that's probably it for him. If so, his final line will be: 3 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 5 k, 33 pitches, 26 strikes. Not one ball left the infield.
7:55 p.m. -- Strasburg is indeed done. At least in the game. He's spending the fourth inning in the bullpen throwing more pitches to build up some arm strength because he was just so efficient in the game.