Image courtesy of: Bestman Productions
Stephen Strasburg dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates in front of a sold out crowd at Nationals Park Tuesday night, allowing just two runs on four hits in seven historical innings.
The 21-year-old phenom fanned 14 batters and walked none, becoming the first pitcher ever to strike out 11 or more with zero walks in his major-league debut.
Strasburg was efficient with his pitches, needing just 94 offerings to complete seven frames. He struck out the final seven batters he faced, retiring the side on strikes in the sixth and seventh innings with 11 and 13 pitches respectively.
The 2009 No. 1 overall pick struck out each Pittsburgh starter, six of them going down on strikes at least twice.
Strasburg worked off his plus-plus upper 90s fastball, which was clocked at 98 mph or higher 36 times. His secondary offering – an unhittable plus-plus curveball – generated knee-buckling reactions from the helpless batters. He even flashed an occasional plus changeup, delivered at 88-90 mph.
His control was impeccable, as only three of the 24 batters he faced worked a three-ball count.
For video highlights of Strasburg’s debut, click here
Normally, 21-year-old pitchers cause fantasy managers fits, but Strasburg is no ordinary pitcher. Based on his pure stuff, polish and maturity, the San Diego native is arguably a top-10 fantasy pitcher after just one major-league start.
A quick peek at the schedule only supports this claim. Assuming the Nationals keep Strasburg on a normal five-day rotation, the 6-foot-4, 220 pounder will face the Indians, White Sox, Royals, Braves, Mets and Padres (the 26th, 25th, 18th, 6th, 17th and 22nd ranked teams in run-scored) before the All-Star Break.
While it will be nearly impossible to find anyone unwilling to buy into Strasburg’s hype after his record-breaking major-league debut, his value is only going to go up. If a fellow league member snatched him up before you could, send out an offer to gauge his price.
FBI Forecast: 110 IP, 10 wins, 100 strikeouts (8.18 K/9), 2.80 ERA, 1.15 WHIP
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