When looking at the latest game Stephen Strasburg was in against the Chicago Cubs, all I focused on at first was that Strasburg didn’t hold the lead. His line score says he gave up four runs and the Washington Nationals had to bail him out in extra innings. But that isn’t the entire picture. In reality we should see that he pitched 8 2/3 innings in the game and held the slim lead until late. If his offense had given him some run support, he would have just gotten a hard fought win.
There is the problem with Strasburg’s season. It isn’t just that he isn’t getting the run support because that happens to every single starting pitcher from time to time including all of the Nationals starters. The problem is the ridiculous expectations we all have for this guy. I keep thinking of how he has struggled but he has a 3.00 ERA which is better than his mark from last year. Even with time on the disabled list he has logged 156 innings and162 strikeouts.
He is looked at as having a downer year only because he is somehow expected to be the perfect pitcher right out of the gate every sing season. The fact that he only has six wins doesn’t count that his ERA is down from last year as is his WHIP. In a few ways, Strasburg has actually been better this season than last. None of that matters in the end though because he was supposed to be perfect all year just like the Nationals were supposed to dominate and cruise through the season. Well, he didn’t go undefeated and he isn’t going to win the cy-young award but that doesn’t mean the guy hasn’t had a really good season. Maybe with more realistic goals next season he and the Nats can go much further.