SportsNation Blog Archives Stephen Strasburg
Harper, Strasburg and the Nationals
Washington Nationals star pitcher Stephen Strasburg is set to return to the mound Sunday, after spending time on the DL with a lat strain. Meanwhile, standout outfielder Bryce Harper got good news from Dr. James Andrews on his ailing knee and could be back next week. This, of course, is good news for the Nats, who entered the season as a popular World Series pick but who enter Friday at just 33-32, 5.5 games out of both the NL East lead and a wild-card spot. As for fans, they'll be watching closely to see if their two biggest names can remain on the field.
The word of the day is "Natitude." The buzz around the Washington Nationals was at a fever pitch as their two phenoms -- Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg -- delivered in a big way Monday against the Marlins. Harper became the youngest player in the live-ball era to hit two home runs on Opening Day, while Strasburg gave up a leadoff single then sat down the next 19 Marlins in a row. Which young star impressed you more? Cast your votes!
No clownin' around
Bryce Harper is "on pace" for 324 home runs. He'll probably cool down considerably from that, but the 20-year-old is still primed for a big season.
The Nationals won 2-0 on Opening Day, with Bryce Harper providing the offense and Stephen Strasburg handling most of the pitching.
The Nationals said they would shut down right-hander Stephen Strasburg for the season once he reached about 160 innings. They made good on their word Saturday, ending Strasburg's season a day after he allowed five runs in a three-inning start against the Marlins. Washington maintained all along they would protect their 24-year-old in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, even as the first-place Nats closed in on the playoffs. But manager Davey Johnson said the mental side of the impending shutdown was affecting Strasburg the most. Did the Nationals make the right decision?
On Friday, "First Take" debated Stephen Strasburg's likely limit of 160 innings pitched this season. The Nationals may shut Strasburg down due to his youth and injury history. Stephen A. Smith thinks athletes these days are way too coddled, but Skip Bayless thinks it's a prudent move, given Strasburg's profile and importance to the team. What's your take?
Sometimes we all need a little extra space to vent. ESPN profiles and stories give fans space to post their own blog entries and go toe-to-toe with commenters.
Today's story: Stephen Strasburg returns to mound, passes on fan attention.
During the same stretch of days in which Sam Bradford took his first snaps in an NFL preseason game and the Nationals signed Bryce Harper, Royals pitcher Bryan Bullington picked up his first major league win. We like our sports irony like we like our coffee, thick and served up by someone from Kansas City.
Eight years ago, Bullington was in Harper's shoes after the Pirates made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 draft. After all those years, he's progressed from complete bust to nice story ... but he's still a bust, at least until he repeats Sunday's feat about 50 times. And when you think about names like Courtney Brown, David Carr, Matt Bush, Kwame Brown, and Alex Smith, he's hardly alone in that category as a former No. 1 pick.
So as Bradford, Harper, John Wall and NHL No. 1 pick Taylor Hall get set to begin their pro careers, who are you most confident won't be the next Bryan Bullington?
Is the hype and media attention surrounding this year's draft a bit much - what happens next year when there isn't a Harper or Strasburg to generate excitement?
I think part of my job and BA's and Jonathan Mayo's and KG's is to generate it. Next year's draft class is epic. It doesn't have the single star prospect, but it is freaking stacked with talent. Full transcript
Maybe this is the "Year of the Pitcher" in Major League Baseball, but this week has offered its fair share of evidence pointing to another theme. At least until the Phillies traded for Roy Oswalt, the week's bggest pitching story was Stephen Strasburg's trip to the DL. The big Phillies news prior to the trade might have been Domonic Brown hitting a home run in his first game -- the same night Atlanta's Jason Heyward stole home against the Nationals.
Could this actually be the Year of the Rookie?
John Wall's performance in NBA summer ball receives detailed analysis. Sam Bradford's contract talks with the Rams is the subject of daily updates. Neftali Feliz's progress? Well, he probably has more name recognition in Dallas than Cowboys fifth-round pick DeAngelo Smith. Maybe. Actually, don't quote us on that.
Most of the time, even the best baseball rookies are hardly household names right away. In some cases (Jerome Walton, Marty Cordova and Bobby Crosby spring to mind), they stay that way even after winning Rookie of the Year. But as the news of the week suggests, and Jayson Stark pointed out in a recent chat, this year's class has a chance to be different.
Does Posey have a chance at the ROY? Has his power surprised you this early in his career?
Absolutely. Buster Posey is the real deal. In my midseason awards column, I gave Jaime Garcia the midseason ROY award. But a lot can change in the second half, with Jason Heyward coming back, Stephen Strasburg going out there every five days, Posey raking and one of the great rookie classes of recent times. If I were Jaime, I don't think I'd reserve a spot on my shelf for that trophy just yet. Full July 9 transcript
Newly-crowned Miss Iowa Katherine Connors lists the following nugget of inspirational goodness from Eleanor Roosevelt as her favorite quote: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." (Connors also enjoys shopping, watching movies and spending time with family.) Ironic, then, that Nationals emergency starter Miguel Batista called on Connors in searching for a comparison point when disgruntled Nationals fans did their best to make him feel inferior in the town in which Roosevelt spent many years.
Batista got the call to start just minutes before Tuesday's game after scheduled starter (and the reason more than 40,000 people showed up) Stephen Strasburg was scratched with inflammation in pitching shoulder. Talking about the smattering of boos in the park, Batista, a published poet and author, offered up this pearl of wisdom. From the recap:
"Imagine if you go there to see Miss Universe, and you end up having Miss Iowa."
Of course, as Batista proved with five shutout innings in an eventual win for the home team, Miss Iowa isn't always just a consolation prize. And considering Connors wants to be a registered nurse, perhaps the Nationals could have used her Tuesday.
The Beatles come to America. Tiger Woods announces his presence to the world. Genghis Khan embarks on his "World Devastation Tour 1215." Stephen Strasburg makes his major league debut.
It's a bit too early to tell if Strasburg's first start in the majors will stand alongside the other great debuts in history (sporting or otherwise), but it's clearly among the most hyped. The Nationals have actually sold out a home game that isn't Opening Day, an event that is striking in its rarity.
Strasburg could be the next Nolan Ryan, or the next Ben McDonald, but he's already brought the Nationals a kind of relevance that they haven't had since Vlad Guerrero was mashing home runs in Canada, way back in the early '90s. Strasburg is already challenging SportsNation's collective power rankings of pitchers -- he lost to Johan Santana in a question regarding which pitcher fans would rather have for the second half, but just barely.
Strasburg had better enjoy the spotlight while he can, as the Nationals drafted another super-prospect last night in Bryce Harper. It's good they're on the same team -- if Harper ever swung at a Strasburg fastball, the resulting collision could rip a hole in the fabric of space and/or time.
alright nats, nows the time to open up the wallets a bit for a few years here while you have the talent to get that championship run going. And everyone knows where im going with this one, after strasburg and harpers contracts are up they probably will go to whatever al east team pays more. it will happen, just like the rays are gonna be hurting again pretty soon here.” -- bledsoe6671
I'm all about the hype and I hope this kid lives up to his expectations except for when he plays my Bravos but long awaited might be adding just a hint of sensationalism to the mix. It was relly smart to wait for a variety of reasons such as the most important which most will not agree with. The kid has played extremely well against the minors but by waiting until after June 1st for arbitration purposes I think the most important thing is who'll he be pitching against. One of the worst lineups in baseball to help build the confidecne and momentum for the remainder of the season.” -- appalachianmatt
As a Phillies fan, and a baseball fan, I cannot wait to see this kid pitch, for tomorrow and the next few years! National fans, you've got something special getting started in DC with a great young team that will be good for the next few years, enjoy it!” -- philliesfan4ever20