For one day, the president will not be the most important person in Washington D.C. as the Nationals’ prized pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, will make his long-awaited debut at Nationals Park Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
From the hype that has been building around the Beltway since the Nationals drafted Strasburg first overall in last year’s draft, one would expect the phenom to arrive to the ballpark in an armored motorcade. But once there, will he live up to those big expectations?
Strasburg not only carries the weight of his own potential but that of the entire Nationals franchise, who see his first major league start as a turning point for the organization as a whole and bring an end to perennial losing seasons. His whirlwind minor league tour featured sellouts and a party-like atmosphere every time he took the mound.
The Nationals have already dubbed the impromptu holiday “Strasmas” and the park sold out almost immediately after it was announced that he’d be taking the hill.
“He’s good for the game, because he’s a rock star,” Trent Jewett, Strasburg’s Triple-A manager, told fanhouse.com.
The hype is certainly not baseless as he tore minor league lineups apart on the farm. Between Double-A and Triple-A stints, he went a combined 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA. He racked up 65 strikeouts with only 13 walks in 55 1/3 innings.
It was a performance that had Buffalo Bisons’ (Mets Triple-A affiliate) Ken Oberfell asking ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian, “why is here?”
Now that he is here, there’s not much left to ask other than — by suggestion of Lisa in Farifield — what are your thoughts on Stephen Strasburg? If you think he’s a future star, text “SOX1” to 542542. If you think he is overrated, text “SOX2” to 542542. If you think he’s just average text “SOX3” to 542542.
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