- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
All systems are go for Strasburg
Question of the Day
VIERA, Fla. — Stephen Strasburg’s delivery was flawless. Arms crossed in front of his locker, the 23-year-old right-hander didn’t let a smile sneak onto his face as the words left his mouth.
“I was just maxing out at 88,” Strasburg said after pitching two innings in the Washington Nationals’ 10-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Houston Astros on Sunday. “So that’s about right.”
The joke hung in the air. Laughter followed a few seconds later.
Strasburg is known for his fastball that averaged 95.8 mph in five September starts last season, not his one-liners with reporters.
But Strasburg’s manner after his 44-pitch outing at Space Coast Stadium was as easy as his arm action. Five hundred forty-eight days after Tommy John ligament replacement surgery repaired his right elbow, Strasburg’s arm feels significantly better than last spring training.
Better means a stronger arm, one that didn’t tire between innings. One that felt as if it was just getting warmed up when manager Davey Johnson pulled Strasburg after 2⅔ innings of three-hit, two-run baseball, one pitch away from his limit of 45.
“It was pretty much a breeze,” Strasburg said. “It was very easy to throw out there.”
That didn’t mean Strasburg avoided trouble. He struck out three batters, but his command, particularly with off-speed pitches, was erratic. In the first inning, Strasburg started Brian Bogusevic off with three balls, hard sinkers he pulled inside. But Strasburg rallied to strike out Bogusevic swinging.
“He’s fun to watch, even when he’s amped up and overthrowing.”
Strasburg admitted he was too excited. He expected the extra adrenaline. That contributed to throwing only 26 strikes, uncorking a wild pitch and allowing a home run down the left-field line by Chris Snyder.
“I was a little erratic at times, but I know thats going to come with the repetitions and fine-tuning the mechanics,” Strasburg said. “I felt like I could’ve gone a few more [innings].”
NOTES: Johnson took the blame for left-hander Tom Gorzelanny’s difficult inning, where he allowed seven runs, three hits and four walks. A communication problem with the bullpen left Gorzelanny in the game longer than Johnson wanted. “That’s not the kind of work I want to give him,” Johnson said. … Drew Storen needed only 11 pitches to work his first spring inning. Johnson dubbed his closer “Tinkerbell” postgame because of Storen’s mechanical tinkering. … John Lannan starts for the Nationals on Monday in the 6:10 p.m. game against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Declassified cables from Berlin Wall tell tale of drama, dare,
- Judge denies settlement motion in NFL concussion lawsuit
- Jay Gruden's long and winding road to Washington
- FENNO: Championship game provides an opportunity to listen to those who play
- FENNO: For Redskins, nonsensical is the new normal
Latest Blog Entries
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Hezbollah warring in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq