Stephen Strasburg was incredibly impressive in his opening day start against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. It wasn’t because he struck out 15 guys in 7 innings. It was because he was incredibly efficient without sacrificing his electric stuff. He was able to go 7 innings in 80 pitches, striking out 5, and allowing only 1 run and getting the no decision in a 2-1 Washington Nationals win. That to me is a major step up because it shows Strasburg is learning how to pitch. That’s a scary concept.
There are not many pitchers in baseball that have the ability to throw 97, command a 2 seam fastball, command a plus breaking ball, and command an above average change-up. Strasburg obviously has all that- and is worth all the hype in the world. Does that make him the best pitcher in the National League? No. It makes him the second best pitcher in the national league behind Philadelphia Phillies stud Roy Halladay, however Strasburg is rapidly approaching Halladay status.
I know you might think I’m blowing the gun here with guys like Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum, but I’m not. Stephen Strasburg is better than both those guys now, and could win a CY Young this year if the Nationals decide not to limit his innings. Strasburg stays away from hard contact so often with his ability to mix up his entire arsenal. It doesn’t help he can strike anyone out with all of them. It simply isn’t fair.
With all that being said, it’s impossible not to be excited about Strasburg. He has all the talent in the world, and a good head on his shoulders. If he can remain healthy, he’s going to be one of the most exciting pitchers to watch for years to come. I only wish he wasn’t in the national league.