Sunday, August 11, 2013

Strasburg shuts out Phillies

Photo by USA Today
Stephen Strasburg took the mound on Sunday evening looking to shake off a rocky bullpen session where he didn’t feel he had his best stuff. His catcher, Wilson Ramos, even agreed, calling it a “struggle.”

In the second inning he tweaked his groin and saw trainer Lee Kuntz and pitching coach Steve McCatty meet him at the mound. After seeing Strasburg stumble off the rubber and wince, Ramos thought he would soon leave the game.

And in the fifth inning Strasburg took a 87 mile per hour fastball off his right forearm on a bunt attempt. He stepped out of the batter’s box shaking his wrist to relieve the pain.

But somehow through a variety of obstacles, Strasburg emerged on Sunday with the first complete game of his career and a 6-0 shutout of the Philadelphia Phillies. He struck out ten with just one walk in a true masterpiece, his best outing yet in four MLB seasons. In the ninth and with the shutout near, the crowd of 32,355 gave him a standing ovation and chants of  ‘let’s go Strasburg,’ bringing back memories of his historic professional debut.

While the fastball off his arm may have just plain hurt, the sore groin and bad warmup session might have been blessings in disguise. Not having his best stuff, for instance, helped Strasburg get locked in. He needed only eight pitches in the first inning and all were strikes.


Manassas Nats' Fan said...

Excellent effort.

Need to win 36 of 45 (what Dodgers are presently at)

MicheleS said...

Good Stuff Chase! thanks!

Onto the Giants (who got smacked around today)

SonnyG10 said...

I got this game on DVD. I'm going to try to save this one for the rest of the season.

Doc said...

Post-season is doable, they just have to keep up doing what they demonstrate on the weekend with the Philthies.

What they did to Philthy pitchers they can do to Braves pitchers next weekend. Their starting pitchers don't have the stuff that Gio, JZim, and SS have.

Where's Winston Churchill when we need him!!!!

sjm308 said...

I wake up to see us still undefeated!! Off to Lake BOHINJ for some nice hiking. 20 - 0 is not possible as I see we have an off day but my offer still,stands. If we keep winning, I stay here.

Go Nats !!

Unknown said...

Is there any chance that the nats go for this cuban slugger who plays 1st i think he would be very good for the nats and we need a power hitting first baseman for the next 5 years. Someone give me hope!

Laddie Blah Blah said...

"Need to win 36 of 45 (what Dodgers are presently at)"

The GCL Nats are even better, at 38 - 6. It can be done.

Nats 128 said...

McCatty responding to the 1 walk that Strasburg had on Sunday, "OK, that is the one I care about really. If you get ahead and you are able to put someone away quick, I have no problems with strikeouts. But when they are all 3-2 on everybody and foul balls, now we have a different thing. I have to go over this with you every freaking time, don't I?"

Sounds like McCatty is referring to Gio.

baseballswami said...

Our power hitting first baseman is named Tyler Moore. And he should be here. Now.

natsfan1a said...

Didn't see the game because I was out and about. Did see lots of Nats gear at the Montgomery County Fair, as usual. Was checking the score on my not-too-smart phone. When I noticed the shutout, I wondered whether SS had done something special. Turns out that he did. Good for him, and good for the fans who were there. Some of my fave in-person games are complete game shutouts (the winning end of).

btw, displayed in the photo contest was a pic of a "man" with baseball on his cap. The "man" was Druuuu, who was sporting it on the ball of his ballcap, as he is sometimes known to do. Not sure why the display note didn't use his actual, you know, name, or even the team name. Anyhoo.

Last but not least, I hear that Slovakia is lovely in the fall, sjm. :-)

natsfan1a said...

I also have the game recorded and hope to watch it at some point today.

natsfan1a said...

Sounds like McCatty is referring to Gio.

Different strokes, but to me it sounds like he was jokingly busting on SS.

From over on the MASN site:

McCatty was surprised when told by the media that Strasburg had 10 strikeouts.

"He had that many?" McCatty asked. "I don't count. That's cool."

When McCatty was told Strasburg did give up that one walk to Brown, he had a different reaction.

"OK, that is the one I care about really,' McCatty said. "If you get ahead and you are able to put someone away quick, I have no problems with strikeouts. But when they are all 3-2 on everybody and foul balls, now we have a different thing. I have to go over this with you everything freaking time, don't I?"

McCatty was in his usual playful mood when discussing Strasburg's milestone. He did admit this was a special moment for the Nationals' most high-profile starter.

Joe Seamhead said...

From the stats can be deceiving department:

Dan Haren has won more games (7) then Stephen Strasburg (6) this year.

Ian Desmond leads the team in hits with 119. Denard Span is second with 115.

Over the last 36 games, Span has more than twice as many RBI's than Desmond (13 vs.6).

Not trying to make any point other than simple stats can be deceiving.

Joe Seamhead said...

Also, in spite of his poor RBI production since July 1, Ian is second on the team in RBI's for the year, one behind Ryan Zimmerman, 55-54. That shows how much Desi carried the team for the first half.

I was also surprised to see that Desmond leads the team in strike outs, 105 to ALR's 102.

baseballswami said...

Lots of nice things in yesterday's game. Desi catching the catcher napping and scoring was vintage Natitude. Zim's play to end the game was vintage Zim. But beyond that, lots of good at bats , smart base running and crisp defense. The rest of the Phils line up might be the unknowns, but Kendrick is usually pretty good. They worked him intelligently. Good to see. Also good was that the Phils ticked off the ump right from the beginning :)

Section 222 said...

What a great game yesterday. The crowd was so into it by the end that it reminded me of his Stras's debut, only with 10,000 fewer in attendance. What a great play by Zim to end it (he also had a strong throw in the 8th), and Desi's "steal of home" was a thing of beauty. (Weird that Johnny kept calling him "Ruf" in the postgame. I think Kratz was their catcher.) Werth is a base hit machine and a great baserunner. Span made some nice running catches too. All in all, a well played thrashing of the Phillies. Very sweet.

I'm finding it enjoyable to watch the games and not care about the scoreboard or the WC race.

I took a friend who hadn't been to a game all year and is not much of a fan. It was fun to tell her: "you just saw the best game of Strasburg's career."

D'Gourds said...

Too little, too late for this season folks. However, I'm all for getting some momentum and experience for our younger players to carry into 2014.

natsfan1a said...

Dang, the baseball gods are so unfair sometimes... ;-)

Section 222 said...

I took a friend who hadn't been to a game all year and is not much of a fan. It was fun to tell her: "you just saw the best game of Strasburg's career."

Joe Seamhead said...

NatsJack, after Span made a catch yesterday and Bob Carpenter said that it was time to consider Denard for the Gold Glove and I started thinking that it is not far fetched to think Span as deserving of the award.

I enjoyed Strasburgs game immensely, and felt it was by far his most mature performance, but I will never forget his ML debut against the Pirates. I do think it quite possible that Stras will pitch a perfect game on any given outing.The curves and change ups that he threw yesterday were just sick when combined with the location and change of speeds of his fastball.

NatsLady said...

For those of you who miss John Lannan, yes, he was inexpensive. Here is what he's done since the All-Star Break.

4 Games Started: 20.1 IP, 7.52 ERA, 9.2 K%, 11.2 BB%,

Of the roads not taken, only Kyle Lohse is regrettable, and Rizzo would have had to sign him to a multi-year deal.


NatsLady said...

Span is good, I love him to death, but he isn't even CLOSE to Carlos Gomez (or A.J. Pollock), get real.

NL Center Fielders

NatsLady said...

A Phillies fan told me management decided on later starts for the August games because of the heat/humidity (as if it isn't hot and humid in July). For us locals, the 5 pm start was great. Time to do other stuff and then wander over to the game, yet it ended early enough that you get a good night's sleep. Only downside was the kids didn't get to run the bases.

Doc said...

Thanks for the stats NL and Seams!

Span is doing what he always has done--wad did people think we were getting--Mickey Mantle??

Love watching him in CF, dang he's smooth. He catches balls that Harps would have a more difficult time tracking down.

Never gonna be a big stealing threat, but Davey doesn't put a lotta weight on that part of the game.

Span consistently did his job this season which is more than some other players can say.

Theophilus T. S. said...

Joe -

Does it occur to you Span's stats may not be "deceiving?" I have really mixed feelings. His OBP and mythical base-stealing skills have been very disappointing. Notwithstanding we need to wait for the end of the year to reach a judgment on what he is likely to produce over the length of his contract.

Desmond's nos., e.g., lack of post-ASB run production, K rate, are not in the least surprising. They've been there to see for everyone who's been looking.

Re: Strasburg, I'm thrilled he finally has a complete game, less thrilled because he should have been doing it 5-6 times a season.

Not only was it his first game, it's the first time that I know that of that he's held a runner on first to set up a CS. Whowee! Who could have imagined?

Joe Seamhead said...

NatsLady, I'm not sure that advanced metrics always decide on who gets a GG. Case in point that comes to mind was Robinson Cano getting it in 2010, when several other AL 2nd basemen had much higher ratings in the advanced metrics world. [Though Cano's advanced metrics were very high last year when he again won the award].

JD said...


I think that what's surprising to most of us is the fact that Span isn't the type of player we thought he would be. I think that those of us who have never seen him play until this year thought that he would be the type of player who is on base all the time because he dunks singles into left field, beats out ground balls etc. He's just not that kind of player at all.

Statistically, he is where he should be from the right side. For some reason, this year he can't hit lefties, he never had that problem before.

NatsLady said...

Span is consistent, steady, and smooth in CF. No adventures. Occasionally a Web Gem, a gem that's NOT the result of a late jump or poor route, rather, a ball that seemed unreachable. He may not have Ankiel's arm, but he doesn't miss the cut-off man, throw to the wrong base, or drop his glove in the flowers.

NatsLady said...

JD, at the game yesterday, Span had a couple of long, hard hit fouls to the left side. I think he is trying to adjust so he's not an automatic 4-3.

Speaking of which, is it my imagination or is RZim is 5-3 out a lot?

NatsLady said...

Theo, agree on Stras. Strange to say after his great game, but he has been somewhat disappointing this year because I also expected several CGs or at the very least a consistent run of 7-8 shutout inning games. I mean, SHUTOUT games, not giving up 2 runs (or a grand slam) on "mistake" pitches. Because of the low run support, every inning for Stras is like a closer in the 9th. So pitch that way.

Joe Seamhead said...

I was one that had seen very little of Span before this year and had very much of a "In Rizzo We Trust" mentality regarding him. I didn't expect Maury Wills, but I did expect a much more polished baserunner.I also expected a higher OBP with a higher BB rate and fewer strikeouts. That said, I had no idea that he was as smooth as he is in CF. I love to watch good outfielders, always have. Denard comes across to me as a young man that had spent his entire career with one organization and has had a tough time getting comfortable in his own shoes since changing teams, and leagues. I also feel that he is not a 4th outfielder as some here feel. I expect him back as the starter next year, and that he will show a marked improvement. Shoot, Jayson Werth hit .232 his first year here. Also regarding Denard Span, because of his range he has made all of the corner outfielders that have played with him look better.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I am with you Joe S on Span.

mr baseball said...

I know he's on IR, but wasn't Revere (Phillies) the starter in CF for the Twins over Span. I think the Phils may have gotten the better CFer and he's 4 years younger!

Let's not get to carried away with the sweep over the Phillies. I think they are something like 4 wins and 16 losses in their last 20 games. And now we get the last place Giants and the O's took 2 out of three from them.

I wish Harper would get straighten out, his average is really on the down swing.

ehay2k said...

I have seen Revere in action a few times and he can be a real liability in the field. Defensively, I'd take Span any day.

As for Span's baserunning, remember that he was injured by fouling balls off his foot and had to take time off. You can bet that it is still barking, and that he does not get as good a push off when stealing as he would like.

That being said, he does need to get better because a couple of steal attempts were really ill-advised , and the pitcher picked him off. Perhaps it's also a function of working with a new 1b coach?

A sweep of the Philthies made my weekend!

Joe Seamhead said...

Revere started over Span because Span was having a difficult time returning from a serious concussion. Revere was justifiably vilified in Philly for his play in the outfield. He cost them several games early in the year. The Twins peddled Revere to the Phillies because they had another young kid Aaron Hicks that they liked better then him. Hicks has been awful, and I'm sure that the Twins wish that they'd kept Span, or Revere.

Holden Baroque said...

better than.


then is before.

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