Pitching upgrade

Here is what the Washington Nationals have in Stephen Strasburg, the pitching prodigy they drafted and managed to sign at great expense:

Strasburg has put the Nats squarely on baseball’s map, on the list of can’t-miss attractions in the game that must be seen. Does he really throw 100 to 102 mph with command? Or is that partly scouts’ mythology? Is his 93-mph slider really his best pitch, so sharp it actually seems to hit something in midair and deflect?

Here is what they have now, referring to starting pitcher Collin Balestre’s performance in a 5-4 loss to Colorado in which he lasted only one and a third innings:

He walked five, including the first three batters of the game. He threw at least two high fastballs that missed the strike zone by more than three feet. One nearly exited the playing field altogether through the gates behind home plate. On top of that, he bounced a pickoff attempt at second base into center field and allowed a two-RBI double to Troy Tulowitzki in the first.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Kirk

    At this point, nothing can hurt the nationals. I’m not sure if dropping $15 million on a rookie pitcher was the wisest of moves, but the bullpen is where they need to be investing. Still, I’m not sure if one ace is going to make them into a great team. The simply fact is that their bullpen has no depth and, like you pointed out, you need relief pitchers to win games.

    But, I’m excited about their potential for next season, though. Ditching Manny Acta was the right move as he obviously wasn’t doing tons for the team. Wriggleman has been great since he took over and the Nats would be smart to hire him on permanently. The Nats have a great offense, which only will only improve if Dukes can start living up to his potential. I’m pretty sure the Nats still won’t be great, but I’m confident that they can at least be a medicore team next year.

  • Kirk

    At this point, nothing can hurt the nationals. I’m not sure if dropping $15 million on a rookie pitcher was the wisest of moves, but the bullpen is where they need to be investing. Still, I’m not sure if one ace is going to make them into a great team. The simply fact is that their bullpen has no depth and, like you pointed out, you need relief pitchers to win games.

    But, I’m excited about their potential for next season, though. Ditching Manny Acta was the right move as he obviously wasn’t doing tons for the team. Wriggleman has been great since he took over and the Nats would be smart to hire him on permanently. The Nats have a great offense, which only will only improve if Dukes can start living up to his potential. I’m pretty sure the Nats still won’t be great, but I’m confident that they can at least be a medicore team next year.


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