Strasburg gets standing ovation on road
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Stephen Strasburg had another dominant outing, giving up just three hits and striking out nine in 6 1/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday night.
Strasburg, the top pick in the 2009 draft by the Washington Nationals, walked two against Rochester while improving to 3-0 for the Chiefs. The 21-year-old right-hander has not allowed a run in 18 1/3 innings at the minors' highest level.
He topped out at 99 mph four times, according to the ballpark radar gun, and finished strong, striking out six of the final seven batters he faced.
"It's great to go out on a high note," he said. "It's great to have your best stuff at the last few innings of your outing."
Strasburg received a standing ovation from the Frontier Field crowd of 12,590 as he walked off the field after striking out Red Wings third baseman Danny Valencia. The cheers, though, turned to boos after Strasburg failed to acknowledge the crowd.
"I've never had a standing ovation [on the road] before in my whole life," Strasburg said. "It's great to hear and everything but the game wasn't over. I feel like I haven't really proven anything in my career [yet]. ... I still have a lot to work on."
Strasburg threw a total of 92 pitches -- the most of his brief professional career -- including 60 for strikes.
His hitless streak ended at 10 2/3 innings when Trevor Plouffe reached on an infield single in the third inning.
Strasburg, who signed a four-year $15.1 million contract with the Nationals, is expected to make two more starts for the Chiefs before being promoted to Washington. He is now 6-1 with a 0.89 earned run average in his seven starts between Triple-A Syracuse and Double-A Harrisburg. In 40 1/3 innings, he has struck out 49 batters and yielded just 17 hits and 10 walks. Opposing hitters are batting just .124 (17 for 137) against him.
The two-time All-American at San Diego State continues to be a big draw each time he pitches, attracting nearly 8,000 more fans than the Red Wings have averaged at home this season. It was the eighth-largest regular season baseball crowd in the ballpark's 14-year history. The Red Wings sold all 144 Nationals T-shirts with Strasburg's name on the back.
"I'm a pretty intense person, especially on game day," he said, when asked about all the attention. "But I'm having a blast."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press