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Stephen Strasburg can hit, too

Jul 16, 2012, 12:46 PM EDT

Washington Nationals' batter Stephen Strasburg singles and gets an RBI in the fifth inning in Miami

Stephen Strasburg turned in another dominant start yesterday, shutting out the Marlins for six innings to improve to 10-4 with a 2.66 ERA and league-leading 135 strikeouts, and also went 1-for-1 with a walk and an RBI single at the plate.

Strasburg was a typical terrible-hitting pitcher in his first two seasons, going 1-for-26 with 10 strikeouts, but this season has been a completely different story. He’s now 10-for-26 (.385) with one homer, four doubles, and two walks, which is good for a .448 on-base percentage and .654 slugging percentage.

Seriously, the guy has a 1.102 OPS in 31 plate appearances after coming into the season 1-for-26. Among actual hitters Andrew McCutchen leads the National League with a 1.074 OPS.

  1. shuusin - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Maybe when they shut Strasburg down as a pitcher they can use him as a pitch-hitter.

    • georgia - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Strasburg used as a pinch hitter on occasion. The Giants sometimes do that with Matt Cain (but normally only in extra innings when there aren’t many bench players left).

      • ajcardsfan - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        I think shuusin actually meant pitch-hitter and not just pinch hitter. Essentially they’d use him when they’d need the person in the pitcher’s spot to get on base, and then when they go into the next inning, he’ll become the pitcher and stay until the either want a pinch hitter or another pitcher to come in.

      • davidpom50 - Jul 16, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        Apparently, Micah Owings is trying to make it back to the bigs as a pinch hitter/1st baseman/right fielder who would also occasionally pitch, once his strained forearm heals. That could make for some interesting late-inning switches.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      Meh, don’t the Nationals already have one of those?

      Though I guess Ankiel’s switch was more out of necessity.

  2. 12strikes - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Good thing they are shutting him down, they could do something crazy like make it deep into the playoffs.

  3. seeinred87 - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    He’s just so much fun to watch. I hope he and Verlander don’t continue to start on the same day for too long though; I hate having to miss one of their starts.

    • hittfamily - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      keep it in your pants there buddy

  4. runyetirun - Jul 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Allegedly he spent a big chunk of his TJ rehab working on his hitting. The results are showing, that’s for sure.

    It makes sense though- dude is so crazy competitive, he must have hated being “bad” at even a single aspect of his game.

  5. ajcardsfan - Jul 16, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    I’m curious, is there a record out there for the best combined ERA/BA either in a season or a career with say like a 20 plate appearance minimum? So it would be an NL person, unless there was an AL pitcher that just dominated one year during inter-league play

    • cur68 - Jul 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      Can’t really answer your question, but it got me curious about who the best hitting pitcher was of all time. Check out this link (if you haven’t already done so):

      http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/12/29/2668063/top-ten-list-best-hitting-pitchers-of-all-time

      Note the last guy (the #1 hitting pitcher, ever). Neat, eh?

      • number42is1 - Jul 16, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        I actually chuckled out when i read this

        5) Dontrelle Willis: .665 OPS, 9 HR, 39 RBI in 447 PA

        Willis’ prowess with the bat has had some wonder at times whether he might be well-served to do “The Ankiel” and convert to being an outfielder, given his pitching woes. He pitched well enough with the Reds in 2011 to get a deal with the Phillies, so he’ll get a chance to add to those hitting totals in 2012. He hit quite well while with Cincinnati: .387/.387/.645 (12-for-31 with three doubles, a triple and a home run).

    • utecutec - Jul 16, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      Fella named Ruth pitched and hit pretty well for the Red Sox back in the ‘teens.

  6. pharmerbrown - Jul 16, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    sloppy thurston sounds like something a fraternity brother does to unsuspecting coeds.

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