Armed with a 102-mph fastball, minor league sensation Stephen Strasburg makes his major league debut tonight… against a minor league quality team.
The Washington Nationals host the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight, as the future of their franchise takes the big league mound for the 1st time against a should-be familiar foe. Pittsburgh, the 5th worst team in the majors (a team even worse than the Nationals themselves), should challenge Strasburg at only a little higher of a level that he faced in the Triple-A Syracuse.
The hype is on in full force. A sellout crowd is expected to welcome the 21-year old kid to the big time. Nationals fans finally have something to be excited for.
Statistics in his 11 starts for Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse were similar to his college numbers: a 7-2 record with a 1.30 ERA, 65 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 55 1/3 innings.
To make the transition as easy as possible, Washington will have their pitcher face a weak line-up. The match-up should make Strasburg’s job be more of an effort to handle the pressure than the batters. It’s a pretty decent scenario that could only be better if the lowly Baltimore Orioles were in town.