Stephen Strasburg is about to make his third major league start and you can bet that everyone around baseball will have their eyes glued to it much the same way they have the previous two.
Strasburg is getting attention of the home town fans in DC much the way Dontrelle Willis, Tommy Hanson and Rick Porcello did in their rookie seasons. Aside from good gate numbers Strasburg, much like the others mentioned, is also putting it together on the field thusfar.
While one could find comparable Triple-A lineups to those the 21-year-old has faced thus far the fact is Strasburg has been composed on the mound. In his two starts against Cleveland and Pittsburgh he’s picked up two wins to go with a 2.19 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. Oh yea did I mention he also has 22 strike outs in 12.1 innings.
While outs may be outs there’s no doubt a majority get excited about large strike out numbers on the scoreboard. Thus far the number one pick of 2009 is giving those people what they desire. So are those numbers going to continue tomorrow night?
In Strasburg’s first outing against Pittsburgh he picked up 14 in 7 innings of work. Against Cleveland he picked up 8 in 5.1 innings of work.
On the year the Pirates have a team total of 452 strike outs in 65 games entering Thursday or 6.9 per game. The Indians have struke out 478 times in 64 games or 7.46 per game.
Oddly enough the Chicago White Sox have struck out the fewest among all major league teams. With 317 strike outs in 64 games they have struck out almost 300 times less then the Major League leading Arizona Diamonbacks. On average the White Sox have struck out 4.95 times per game, well below even the numbers of Pittsburgh or Cleveland.
Of course the White Sox also rank near the bottom in just about every other offensive category with the exception of home runs.
So while the White Sox are still not much of an offensive foe they aren’t exactly going to go swinging and missing either. With Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye out of the White Sox lineup it’s easy to understand why the club has taken dips in all the aforementioned stat categories.
Strasburg is expected to have another good outing tomorrow night and considering all the numbers rightfully so. Just don’t expect him to rack up the K’s but if he gives the Nationals another 7 inning outing and just as importantly a win then I think everyone with a curly W on their hat will be happy.