Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sometimes You’re the hammer…

…and sometimes you get shutout by a guy you traded away and lose the game.

OK. If you were walked in the eighth inning last night, raise your hand. I was sitting and watching TV, and went to a 3-0 count. There’s really nothing good to say about last night’s debacle. Thankfully, as they say, momentum in baseball is tomorrow’s starting pitcher, and the Sox send their best to the mound tonight. With that, I’d like to move on to some old news that I meant to mention last night.

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least make a passing comment on the major league debut of Stephen Strasburg. For one thing, it was a pretty big deal in the baseball world. For another thing, I could use the hits from all the people still doing Google searches today.

I was watching the Celtics host the Lakers while the Washington Nationals were hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Yup, that ought to help today with random hits from search engines) I saw the scroll come across the bottom of the screen, and watched the progress that way. The first time I remembered to check, it said he was through three innings and had struck out six batters. That’s quite a pace. But, I thought, it’s his first run through the line-up. He’s a new pitcher that nobody had seen before. Let’s see how he does after the line-up turns over. The next scroll I saw noted that he had lost the lead on a 2-run homerun. There it is, I thought. He’s seeing the hitters again, and not fooling them as much. Let’s see what happens now. Well, it appears what happened then was Strasburg striking everybody else out. I hate it when young pitchers get rattled like that.

So, is this guy the real deal? It sure seems like that. But, I’m reminded of when Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter in his second start. Everyone assumes it’s the sign of a great career. Then they show other people who threw one pretty quick, and none of them turned out to be superstars. Apparently two pitchers in history have struck out more than 14 batters in their debut. I hadn’t heard of either of them. Billy Rohr pitched a one-hit shutout for the Red Sox in his major league debut. I only knew that because it was during the impossible dream season. (And, I couldn’t remember his name without looking it up) So, the future certainly looks bright for Strasburg and the Nationals. It just doesn’t mean his Hall-of-Fame induction is a mere formality.

As a Nationals pitcher was making history, the Red Sox had a pitcher make some of his own. Tim Wakefield set the Red Sox team record for innings pitched, passing Roger Clemens. He had already passed Cy Young earlier this season. I was a little surprised that there was no talk of cutting into the game so everyone around the country could witness history. (When Derek Jeter broke a Yankees team record in hits, it got more coverage than a royal wedding.) For someone who has been both a starter and a reliever, this career mark was quite a feat. So, congratulations to Tim!

Beat LA!



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