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Stephen Strasburg throws . . . someone under the bus

Jun 23, 2014, 9:19 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 9.18.56 AM AP

And really, it’s unclear who. Could be himself in some dissociative episode. Hard to say.

All I know is that on Friday night he pumped nothing but fastballs to Jason Heyward and, eventually, Heyward made him pay for it by hitting a key RBI double. After the game, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports, Strasburg had this to say:

Why so many fastballs? “I guess it was the plan going in,” Strasburg said. “I don’t think it’s the right plan. But that’s what we went with.”

Sounds like he’s being critical of whoever chose that approach to Heyward. Except Nats pitching coach Steve McCatty said that “every one of these guys has the ability to go out and make pitches of what they want to do . . .  I don’t force, nor have I forced, any of these guys. They know how to pitch, and they’re trying to make the pitches they wanted to use.”

Fact: pitchers shake catchers off if they don’t like the pitch in a given situation. I have no idea who first decided to throw all those fastballs to Heyward, but it seems to me that Strasburg has the final say over what pitch to throw. And that, even if it’s pretty common for a pitcher and the catcher/pitching coach/manager to disagree on an approach, you normally don’t hear that disagreement bubbling out into public comments like these.


  1. baberuthslegs - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    This is another reason I don’t like Strasburg.

    Of course, the other night I saw Teheran and Gattis at odds over what pitches throw.

  2. renaado - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    You’re never goin to fool anyone if you keep throwin the same pitch all over again, not to mention fastballs.

    If this was the gameplan Strasburg was talkin about… Then he’d better rethink that. A pitcher like him of that caliber should know that already that “THAT” is no gameplan.

    • clydeserra - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      cf Bartolo Colon

  3. dan1111 - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    A man, a plan, too many fastballs, llabtsafynamootnal, Panama.

    • dcarroll73 - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      I know Barry Duncan (search Google on “master palindromist”), and I would give you multiple “thumbs up” if I could.

  4. adenzeno - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    I am a High School coach, and even when I call pitches, I let the pitcher shake and throw what he wants…I am making suggestions, the pitcher still has to throw the pitch….I do prefer to have a smart catcher to call the game so I don’t have to, but…….

  5. sc101071 - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Sounds like he’s frustrated w/being told my metrics/numbers what to throw.

    • bisonaudit - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      It they think the metrics are telling them to throw all fastballs they’re either not reading them right or they’re not communicating properly with their players.

    • jprg1966 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:00 PM

      Metrics don’t tell you “what to throw,” and the metrics departments for teams don’t tell the manager what to have his pitchers throw. This is between the pitcher, the pitching coach, and the catcher.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    How has Heyward been hitting against fastballs?

    There are two components to this: planning, and execution. I don’t know if it is a good idea to pump fastball after fastball at Heyward. Maybe his recent history suggests that is exactly the correct approach. Even if that is a good plan, however, it still requires the pitcher to throw good fastballs and hit his spots. And even if the pitcher does everything exactly right, the batter can still get a hit.

  7. sumerduckman - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    It’s just like real estate man,location, location, location. Don’t miss your spot, and don’t blame someone else when you do.

  8. infieldhit - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    People still say “throw under the bus”?

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      I say it all the time in real life. Then again, no has ever accused me of being a trend setter

    • yahmule - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:00 PM

      Is it true that we do need a new pithy phrase to describe the activity of trying to evade blame at another’s expense.

  9. sportsfan18 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    yo, it was humid, the ball was slippery, the lights, the glare, the heat, the sweat, man Howard looked MEAN when he was at the plate… gave me the shivers.

    laces on the ball weren’t raised up high enough, I had a blister, I knew I had a hot date after the game, I was sweating even…

    the crowd was… was… I don’t know what the crowd was, but the crowd was…

    man, I gotta carry this sorry team don’t I? are we ever going to make the playoffs?

    the ump wasn’t consistent with his strike zone for me

    the batters even brought bats with them up to the plate!!!

    oh good, there’s the beer and fried chicken…

  10. alphonzolester - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Strasburg is a real softy. If they keep treating him like a baby he’ll keep acting like one. The nasty stuff this guy has you’d hope he’d have a little more fire in him and step up in big games. I’ve seen him take himself out of games against division rivals because it was “too hot” or him’s wasn’t getting his way. Poor fella.

  11. Jonny 5 - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    Heywards pitch data shows he’s below average for hitting fastballs but above for the change up. This doesn’t mean he’s better at hitting change ups than fastballs. I hope this wasn’t why SS was lead to pump in fastballs for every pitch. If so the stats aren’t being used properly.

  12. DiscountGolfEquipment - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    As a former pitcher, Strasburg’s comment is ridiculous and stinks of finger pointing. HE is responsible for what pitch he throws, and to suggest it was somebody else’s “PLAN” is absolutely ignorant, because every baseball fan over the age of 10 knows the pitcher can shake off any signal and throw what he wants.

    Stupid, stupid comment, and one that will alienate teammates and coaches

  13. wethog66 - Aug 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Looks like Griffin has some company in DC with being a talented young player with enormous potential, but never takes the blame when things don’t go well.

    • wethog66 - Aug 21, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Wow, didn’t realize this post was 60 days old. Was reading the post about yesterdays Nats games and this post was recommended for reading. Regardless, I stand by my comment about #37 and Griffin. Both need to grow up, mentally.

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