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Stephen Strasburg is the third-fastest to reach 500 career strikeouts

Sep 22, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

With a fifth-inning strikeout of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg became the third-fastest — in terms of innings pitched — to reach 500 career strikeouts, tweets James Wagner of the Washington Post. The two to do it faster: former Cubs teammates Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.

Strasburg entered tonight’s start with a 2.96 ERA in 28 starts. If not for outstanding season-long performances by Clayton Kershaw, Jose Fernandez, and Matt Harvey, Strasburg would have been in the conversation for the NL Cy Young award as predicted before the season started.

The Nationals are still holding on to the smallest sliver of hope to get into the playoffs, trailing in the Wild Card race by 5.5 games. However, their elimination number is two, meaning they could be relegated to October golf sessions as soon as tomorrow afternoon.

  1. aceshigh11 - Sep 22, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    Wood and Prior?

    Never would’ve thought of those two names.

  2. raysfan1 - Sep 22, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    For his sake, may the rest of his career not emulate either of those two guys.

    • jscowdin - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      He doesnt have Dusty Baker ruining his arm

  3. senatorsguy - Sep 22, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    would love to hear who is 4th and 5th to know if we have a common thread here…

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:41 PM

      I think Lincecum is one of them. He reached 500 Ks in about 450 innings.

  4. psunick - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    Strasburg would have been a Cy candidate?

    If not for season-long performances by Trout and Cabrera, Josh Donaldson would be in the MVP discussion too.

    What does a sentence like that prove, really?

    • NatsLady - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:53 AM

      Nothing. This was not a Cy Young year for Stras, period–too much flaky stuff happened. Yeah, his “peripherals” look great, but there is also a reason he is 7-9. Yeah, I know, pitcher “wins” are meaningless, except, they’re not–not entirely. He’s had bad luck (see below), but he also hasn’t overcome his bad luck, he’s given into it more often than he should have, let stuff get to him.

  5. NatsLady - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    In terms of recovery from TJ and “maturity” as a pitcher, Stras is a year behind Jordan Zimmermann–and Stras has more raw talent. This was a tough year for him, from low run-support, bad weather, fielding errors behind him all spring, strange meltdowns, right up to recently balking in two runs in one inning. It’s not even clear to him (or his coaches) if he should pitch from the windup or the stretch in certain situations. Part of this is attributable to his fast rise (not much time in the minors) and part to his extremely narrow focus on the guy in the batter’s box.

    If Stras can put the pieces together, manage his emotions, manage the game, and combine that with his incredible “stuff” — well, that will be something to see.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:56 AM

      Agreed. I’ve had the feeling that his problems (to the extent he’s had them) haven’t been so much about his arm as his head. He’s still young, and his arm has held up under an increased workload (that is, Davey letting him go deeper into games), so there is reason for optimism.

      • someguyinva - Sep 23, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        It will be interesting to see how Strasburg handles real pressure if and when the Nats seriously contend for and perhaps reach the postseason in the future. The narrative here and elsewhere has been that no Strasburg shutdown last year means Nats win it all (or have a better chance to do so), but what we’ve seen from Strasburg this year with his inability to manage his emotions might argue that perhaps he wouldn’t have given the Nats any better chance last year than they had.

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