I Got Five On It: Justin Verlander Wishes He Was Stephen Strasburg

By Bryan Lutz

Holy aces, Batman! Baseball saw a lot of elite pitchers on the bump today. It was difficult to keep up with all the action, but I the best I could do. And I have come to the conclusion that Washington Nationals’ pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, is alright at what he does.

Stephen Strasburg Isn’t Human

I jumped on this Nationals’ bandwagon before it was trendy, now I will reap all of the benefits. The whole reason why I purchased MLB.tv was to watch my adopted National League team as much as I possibly could, especially when Stephen Strasburg is on the mound.

Strasburg struggled with his command early in the game – but after that – he proved why he is already among the game’s elite. After the first inning where he allowed a walk, a hit, and threw a wild pitch, Strasburg pitched five innings, allowing only one hit, two walks, and struck out eight New York Mets’ hitters.

Also, if you watched the game, you saw Strasburg throw some insane pitches. His curveball isn’t a tradtional 12-6 curve, it’s more of a 1:30 to 7:30 type of pitch.

Justin Verlander Runs Out of Gas

I couldn’t see a pitch because of the blackout restrictions (you’ll hear me say that a lot), but it’s good to know a Space Jam alien isn’t controlling Justin Verlander’s body. In hopes of having a complete game shutout, Verlander started the 9th inning for the Detroit Tigers. But the Tampa Bay Rays rallied, putting up a four spot against Verlander, Daniel Schlereth, and Jose Valverde.

If I had a gun to my head, I would say this was an early ALCS preview. Still plenty of baseball left, however.

Aroldis Chapman Will Be Baseball’s Best Reliever

Cincinnati Reds‘ hurler, Aroldis Chapman, can finally settle into a role on the pitching staff. Chapman struck out five St. Louis Cardinals hitters today over two innings, earning his second win on the young season.

My reasoning behind my proclamation that Chapman will be the best reliever is quite simple. Unlike a majority of relievers, Chapman is capable of going multiple innings. Relievers are a lot more valuable when they throw multiple innings, let alone throw multiple dominating innings like Chapman.

Although I’m moving away with my fascination with WAR, I’m pegging Chapman as a 3-win reliever, which is extraordinary.

Lastly, the reason I am so high on Chapman is he figured out how to pitch. In Spring Training, he only allowed two walks in I believe 19 innings pitched. After seeing that, I knew Chapman was going to be a dominating force in the Reds’ bullpen.

Roy Halladay Reigns Supreme Against Josh Johnson

Not a whole lot to be said in this contest. Miami Marlins‘ ace, Josh Johnson, allowed 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. While Roy Halladay earned the win by pitching seven quality innings for the Philadelphia Phillies.

If there is one lasting impression from this game, it’s the abysmal Marlins’ defense. Between range and basic fundamentals like hitting the cut-off man, they are lacking greatly.

Tim Lincecum Is Regressing Before Our Eyes

I have always been paranoid when it comes to San Francisco Giants‘ pitcher, Tim Lincecum. Between his small frame and heavy workload, it’s not a question of if he will break down, but rather than when will he break down. In just two starts, we might have found the answer to our question. Lincecum allowed six runs in 2 1/3 innings of work against the Colorado Rockies tonight, raising his ERA to 12.93 for the season.

Granted, it’s only been two starts for the multiple Cy Young winner, but I’m still scared to death as a fantasy owner. Lincecum’s velocity has dropped around 4MPH since 2008, and it’s not like it’s going to improve any time soon. Pitchers who are built like Lincecum aren’t workhorses. He doesn’t have the built of a Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia, or Felix Hernandez. He’s 175 pounds soak and wet, ergo pitching 200+ innings for as many seasons as he has is going to catch up with him.

Follow Bryan on Twitter for his daily Blog, I Got Five On It, breaking down baseball’s five most important things that occurred that day.

Also, look out for Tom Froemming’s daily blog, Pitching Primer, where he breaks down the best pitching match-ups that day. 

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