- WaPo to readers: Send us your ‘gun violence’ stories for Sandy Hook anniversary
- U.S. threatens Ukraine with sanctions over dispatch of riot police
- Canada doing away with door-to-door mail delivery by 2018
- NSA chief defends phone spying: ‘There is no other way’
- Hawaii Health Department head killed in plane crash
- Colorado school drops sexual harassment label on boy who kissed girl’s hand
- Australia court strikes down 5-day-old, gay-marriage law
- Fake interpreter at Mandela service: ‘Sorry,’ I have schizophrenia
- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
Stephen Strasburg hits benchmark, and picks up win, too
He tops 100 pitches in six shutout innings
Question of the Day
NEW YORK — The pitch was a 96 mph fastball, down, on the inner third of the plate. It was a strike, by the definition of the word. Strike 3, actually. But home plate umpire Larry Vanover called it a ball. Stephen Strasburg was not pleased.
“I felt like I missed my spot a little,” Strasburg explained later. “But I still felt like it was a quality pitch.”
The fourth four-pitch walk of his career followed.
“I almost tried to force it a little too much,” Strasburg said, his command admittedly not as impeccable as usual in the first inning. “I think in my head I was saying, ‘Pound the zone, pound the zone.’ “
The wildness, the appearance of being rattled, even the exchange with Vanover, was decidedly un-Strasburg. But what came after it in the Nationals' 4-0 victory over the New York Mets was - dominance. As Johnson is fond of saying, “vintage” Strasburg, and it included the Nationals’ ace throwing more than 100 pitches for the first time in his professional career.
“He’s just one of the guys now,” Johnson said, knowing that Strasburg jumped that benchmark while being allowed to work his way out of a jam in the sixth inning, his pitch count climbing and his team clinging to a one-run lead.
“I’m going to handle him just like he’s perfectly healthy,” Johnson said. “I’d have probably had to strangle him to get ahold of the ball to get it out of his hand. I didn’t want to fight him on the mound.”
The Washington Nationals are 4-2, even with an offense that stranded 14 runners Wednesday. A win in their home opener Thursday would put them three games over .500 for the first time since May 15, 2010.
Even before Tommy John surgery, Strasburg likely would not have stayed in Wednesday.
“In that situation, there was never a thought of taking him out,” said McCatty, who visited after pitch No. 102. “There’s a different way of the managers managing the game. I’m not saying [Jim Riggleman, Johnson’s predecessor] was wrong, but I believe the pitcher has got to throw pitches. If you’re going to start throwing benchmarks at 100 or whatever, you’re setting yourself up for problems.
“Read with your eyes. When you sit there and watch somebody throw, you don’t look at the mark of 100. You see what you see. That’s what Davey does.”
If not for Vanover’s missed call in the first, the Nationals’ ace would have been throwing a no-hitter until a one-out hit by Ike Davis in the sixth inning on that 102nd pitch. Sean Burnett was warming. McCatty visited. Runners were on first and second. Strasburg struck out Jason Bay and coaxed Josh Thole to fly out to center. Inning over.
“I didn’t know who to go to get him out of a jam,” Johnson conceded. “So I left him out there. I know he wouldn’t have liked to have left some runners on there that could have given him the ‘L’ so, I let him go. It’s that simple.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at email@example.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.
- What will Nationals do this offseason to contend again in 2014?
- As Nationals' manager search begins, Randy Knorr the players' choice
- Davey Johnson's big-league journey ends with Nationals loss
- Team spirit and Holy Spirit — for Nationals religion looms large on and off the field
- Jordan Zimmermann falls short of 20th win as Cardinals prevail again
Latest Blog Entries
- A fond farewell, and a bit of thanks
- Nationals coaches wait in limbo as team searches for next manager
- Davey Johnson won't be in uniform for Nationals in spring training
- Tanner Roark starts season finale with youthful lineup behind him (UPDATED)
- Dan Haren, Nationals top Diamondbacks in season's penultimate game
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- DIVEST! Oil is the new apartheid on college campuses
- Colorado school drops sexual harassment label on boy who kissed girl's hand
- MILLER: Dick Heller challenges D.C.s gun registration, files for summary judgment in Heller II
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow