Sunday, June 13, 2010

If That's the Worst Strasburg We'll Get...

... then he's gonna be pretty damn good.

I think it was Jim Kaat who always talked about how often a starter goes out there with good stuff. I think he said that in an average year they'll go out there 5 or 6 times where everything clicks. And 5 or 6 times where you've got nuttin'.

I'm not sure that Strasburg had nothing, but he didn't really look good. Of course there's the 8 strikeouts and 2 hits thing. But if you watched him, you saw him labor.

Some of that was the atrocious mound. During the game, I was twittering John Patterson jokes. It really did seem, for a bit, like he was being as particular as our favorite former prissy ace. But as the cameras focused in more closely, you could see a pit developing, and on a few pitches, you could see his plant foot skid and twist. Ain't good. One wrenched knee would screw him over. Or if he comes through the wrong way, it's not hard to envision a shoulder shredding.

It clearly got into his head, and I think that Riggles probably took him out a batter or two too late. Strasburg lost a little bit of focus -- and he didn't even have to deal with flying midges.


That aside, you saw one of the things that's struck me a little bit from watching him. He doesn't have great command of his pitches. He's getting by on stuff. Now, when you can throw 100 MPH and can throw that Mindbender that no batter's ever going to do a damn thing with, you can get away with it.

But he misses the target an awful lot. He's not wild. Five walks aside (many of those were products of the terrible footing) he usually keeps it in the zone. But it doesn't always go where he's intending it to go.

That's not going to be a problem against lousy teams. And with his stuff, it's probably not going to be a problem period. But it seems like it's a little bit of a chink in the armor.

Maybe Mike Rizzo should've kept him down for another year to work through those issues.


  • He's going to give up a few more homers if he keeps leaving that curve up.

    By Blogger Kevin Reiss, at 6/13/2010 6:59 PM  

  • So, what you're saying is Jesus is got a little higher upside than Mike Bascik, right?

    By Anonymous Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me, at 6/13/2010 8:35 PM  

  • The more I watch him, the less certain I am whether he's another Nolan Ryan or another Roger Clemens. His first start reminded me of Clemens (control & heat) but this game was more Ryan - raw stuff with a lot of walks to go with the strikeouts. Maybe it was the mound.

    By Blogger Wombat-socho, at 6/14/2010 8:39 AM  

  • also, linked at Beltway Baseball. :)

    By Blogger Wombat-socho, at 6/14/2010 9:15 AM  

  • Very funney Chris. Yeah, he has some issues and he will probably lose a game or two this year. But what one can count on, the kid will only get better!

    By Anonymous Sec 204 Row H Seat 11, at 6/14/2010 9:15 AM  

  • "He doesn't have great command of his pitches."

    Huh? What do you call 14 K's and zero walks?

    If you're referring to the second game . . . well, you gave the answer yourself? How do you throw a 100mph heater, with control, when you're plant foot is slipping?

    I think it's way too far early to conclude whether he has control or not.

    By Anonymous A DC Wonk, at 6/16/2010 2:34 PM  

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