- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Stephen Strasburg dazzles in second rehab start
Throws three scoreless innings, strikes out five
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — To get to Stephen Strasburg, you had to pass through the baseball-and-Sharpie wielding mob clamoring outside the Potomac Nationals' clubhouse, four Prince William County police officers and one thick blue door.
Chants of “We want Strasburg!” slipped through the whitewashed walls, into the space where reporters sat on the floor in front of seven television cameras. A 12-pack of Top Ramen perched on top of a beer-filled fridge. Taped to it was a sign that read: “Media stay out!”
The new ligament in Strasburg’s right elbow appeared every bit as good as his old one. Over three innings, Strasburg threw 33 pitches, 24 for strikes, and struck out five. Even the two hits didn’t leave the infield. Potomac manager Matt LeCroy shook his head in amazement at Strasburg’s stuff and pronounced him ready for the big leagues.
“I know I’m going to be the pitcher I was,” Strasburg said. “I think the work I put in is going to make me better.”
The rust apparent in his first rehabilitation start with the Hagerstown Suns on Sunday disappeared. Instead, Strasburg’s fastball worked around 96 to 98 mph and topped out at 99 mph. And as planned, he worked in more off-speed pitches. He wanted to approach this as a normal game.
Imagine stepping to the plate as a member of the Class A Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Friday night. If trying to put bat on that fastball wasn’t enough, Strasburg mixed in his big, biting curveball. The pitch was tighter than the previous start and looked as if it could buckle the knees of big leaguers.
The stadium’s radar gun added to Strasburg’s legend, clocking his first-inning curveballs at an impossible — and inaccurate — 98 mph. That drew “oohs” from the 8,619 Strasburg-jersey clad fans crammed in the stadium with a capacity of 6,000.
A handful of changeups mixed in with the curveballs. Strasburg threw four in the third inning, none slower than 90 mph. A second radar gun confirmed the speed.
“You can’t hit it,” Potomac catcher Sandy Leon said. “That’s nasty.”
So efficient were Strasburg’s pitches, that he threw 17 more in the bullpen after LeCroy pulled him from the game. Strasburg was capped at 50 pitches, after throwing 31 in 1 2/3 innings at Hagerstown. Two police officers and a Nationals media relations official accompanied Strasburg down the right-field line, his off-field shadows all evening.
Strasburg is scheduled to make his next start Wednesday, barring any setbacks. No site has been announced. Since the Double-A Harrisburg Senators and Potomac are on the road then, another trip to Hagerstown appears likely.
“I’m a little bit more hungry to get back out there,” Strasburg said.
Then he disappeared into the clubhouse. Outside, the crowd hadn’t diminished. Every few minutes one police officer cracked the door and peeked out. “Stephen, Stephen!” came the cries. They wanted a signature. A glimpse. Anything.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- FENNO: Honestly, Mike Shanahan, why should we believe you now?
- Robert Griffin III surprised at being benched by Mike Shanahan
- FENNO: High schooler Chris Cotillo balances MLB scoops, Spanish homework
- Turmoil now a major part of Redskins' game plan
- Mike Shanahan says he'd like to return to Redskins
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow