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Stephen Strasburg dominates the Mets, tops 100 pitches for the first time

Apr 11, 2012, 3:45 PM EDT

Stephen Strasburg AP

This afternoon’s Stephen Strasburg-Johan Santana matchup was every bit as fun to watch as it looked on paper.

Santana was very solid, albeit in another short outing, throwing five innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts despite averaging just 88.1 miles per hour with his fastball.

Strasburg was very shaky early on, but quickly got on track and overpowered the Mets with nine strikeouts in six shutout, two-hit innings. And for the first time as a big leaguer he was allowed to go past 100 pitches, throwing 108, as the Nationals went on to win 4-0.

Strasburg’s career was temporarily derailed by Tommy John elbow surgery, but he’s picked up right where he left off and has now thrown 37 innings with a 1.21 ERA since returning late last season. His average fastball today was 94.8 miles per hour and his changeup had ridiculous movement.

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  1. rob0527 - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Could have had a few less pitches but ump screwed him on a few. Looked dominant, but every bit as sharp as pre injury.

    • tsi431 - Apr 12, 2012 at 7:04 AM

      We obviously weren’t watching the same game. The home plate ump was calling strikes in the opposite batters box. This goes for both sides, not just the Nats, that’s why there were so many strikeouts by both teams. By far the widest “outside” strike zone in baseball. The Jason Bay strikeout in particular was just brutal, two men on and in scoring position and the ball was 10 inches off the plate for a strike. Bay is amazing at being a rally killer on his own, he didn’t need any help.

  2. Francisco (FC) - Apr 11, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    His average fastball today was 94.8 miles per hour and his changeup had ridiculous movement.

    You mean like the Queen in Naked Gun?

  3. kvanhorn87 - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    108 pitches in 6 innings. No where near dominant. Troubled if your stud can’t go more than 6 innings with their bullpen.

    • baseballisboring - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      I mean, dude…if he pitched six shutout innings with eight strike outs every game, he’d be in the Hall of Fame.

    • dagnats - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      dude, 2 hits, 3 walks, 9 SO in 6 innings is pretty good, not to mention 0 Runs, his pitch count was high b/c he wasn’t getting the 1st pitch strike over for the 1st 3 innings…leading to longer counts and AB’s

    • Chairman Al - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      Oh boy. Let’s poke holes in this one.

      He gave up 2 hits and 0 runs in those 6 innings. The pitch count may be a little heavy, but let’s keep in mind, he’s on an innings limit anyway. I’d be amazed if he would have lasted 7 innings regardless of the pitch count.

      Second, still on the pitch count, who in their right mind is talking with someone, hears a pitcher just threw 6 innings of 2-hit, shutout baseball and asks “yeah, but what was his pitch count?”

      Third, this bullpen is regarded as one of the best in baseball. yes, Storen is on the DL right now, but he was a 40+ save guy last year. Brad Lidge was a great free agency pickup. Tyler Clippard was an all-star last year. Oh, and tonight, they threw three more innings of shutout baseball!

      To say their bullpen can’t handle it means you’re another person who figures the Nationals are a joke but really don’t know or appreciate the work they’ve done to build the pitching depth they have.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      He’s not fully recovered, and Davey only has him for 160 innings. No point overworking him in one game. That’s a job for Edwin Jackson.

      Working out of early trouble without giving up a run, and getting past the 100-pitch mark, are encouraging signs.

  4. dondada10 - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    Today’s Met’s line-up wasn’t murders row. Wright is out, Davis is lost and Bay is Bay. With that being said, his change-up was filthy.

  5. royalsfaninfargo - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    I watched this game before I turned it over to the Royals/A’s. I love MLB.TV! This was a pretty good pitchers duel, Santana looked good as well.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:44 PM

      Johan Santana pitching at all is fairly amazing.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:53 PM

        No doubt!

  6. thehairychestsportsblog - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Kvanhorn87 obviously knows everything about baseball. Clippards a stud and our closer is out and we dont miss a beat. But yeah our bullpen stinks.

  7. kvanhorn87 - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Win something then pump your chest. Your best reliever is out and you are depending in lidge. Strasburg is great. The Nats bullpen is deep but I would not call it the best in baseball. If u need the bullpen Over the course of a season for that long, it will wear on them. No matter what time
    It is, they can not withstand the abuse. Strasburg only has one weakness from being top 5 in the league. You are acting like I am calling him horrible or that your bullpen is the worst in the league. I am not. Just bc new National fans(check the attendance record rankings) now have reason to root for their team, does not mean that you couldn’t try have an honest conversation about a player’s weakness. BTW, Lidge has been burned out for since 08. That is the reason no one else tried to sign him. Enjoy your new team, at least you guys can pretend to be real fans.
    -Cards defending world champs(but I can be honest and say no chance this year).

  8. simon94022 - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Trash talk involving the METS and the NATS! You gotta love baseball.

  9. foreverchipper10 - Apr 12, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    The Mets did a promo in their ticket sales for this game throwing select seats back to the inaugural year price of $2.50. Not a bad deal to see this duel.

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