Stephen Strasburg’s much anticipated debut last night gave Nationals’ fans and trading card collectors something we’ve all been waiting for: A reason to get excited about baseball again.
With pennant races all virtually locked up and the game essentially locked up and most teams in lame duck mode until the best-of series begin, the return of the hottest pitching prospect in a decade is big news. Better yet, he did not disappoint.
Strasburg faced the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight and was as originally advertised. Going in with a limited pitch count leash, the radar gun again registered in the high 90s, nearly reaching 100 mph at one point. His 90 mph changeup was working as well as ever.
When his night was done he had given up just two hits in five innings of work. He looked like a more poised, seasoned pitcher. Scary when you consider his physical gifts which appear to all have returned… or possibly improved.
Columnists gushed over his performance (see here) as have collectors as Strasburg rookies start their rise once more.
Regardless of that cardboard appreciation, it’s great to see Stras back after an injury that has ended the career of lesser men.