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Stephen Strasburg is The Stopper

FanSnap graphic.

"The Nationals can't afford to get into a situation where Stephen Strasburg becomes their stopper," MASN's Ben Goessling wrote this week.

Um, too late, methinks.

Since May 15, the Nats are 9-21 for a .300 winning percentage in games not started by Strasburg, and 2-0 in games Strasburg starts.

Since the start of June, the Nats have given up either eight hits or five runs in all but two games, both of which were started by Strasburg.

In both of his starts, he's ended two-game Nats losing skids, and on Friday night, he'll get his first chance to end a three-gamer.

Because of this, and because Strasburg is the only National ever to earn a solo Sports Illustrated cover, and because we've been talking about him for a solid year, none of the hype is at all surprising. Mike Rizzo still says he's a little surprised.

"I'm a little surprised at just the total amount of hype and attention," Rizzo said on ESPN 980's The Sports Fix. " I knew he'd get an extraordinary amount of attention, but it's really been overwhelming: the amount of television, media credentials, we certainly have to make special accommodations for the media everywhere he goes. So I think in that sense, it's surprised me a little bit, but his performance on the field has not. His stuff is what it is. It's terrific and electric, and his poise and command of the stuff is extraordinary."

As for Friday night, two ways to look at ticket prices. On the one hand, as the FanSnap-supplied graphic above shows, Strasburg starts are still major events. On the other hand, SeatGeek reports that prices are down 45 percent from Strasburg's first home start to his second, and that Friday night tickets are only 10 percent above the team's season average.

Either way, the Nats are again releasing individual suite seats for just the second (and third time) in team history this weekend. From the site:

Due to high demand and expected capacity, extra seating has just been released for both Friday and Saturday vs. the White Sox. Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his second home start on Friday at 7:05 p.m. Saturday's game features a special start time (4:10 p.m.) and the first bobblehead giveaway of the season - Ryan Zimmerman - presented by PNC Bank.

Contoured seats and climate-controlled indoor seating available!

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 17, 2010; 5:29 PM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Last week I checked out the price for tickets for the 6/28 game in Atlanta. Based on that chart it would appear to be a scalpers dream.

(Haynesworth has put a quick end to the Strasburg media coverage, at least on the two sports talk stations.)

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 17, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else noticed that Strasburg has yet to face a team with half a pulse? Pittsburgh and Cleveland are terrible. The White Sox aren't much better. Oh, and then he'll face the Royals. There's a challenge. Sure, this was smart on the part of the Nationals to get him acclimated to the ML's; but this dude is getting all this acclaim and has yet to face a team better than he faced in college. Come on now.

Posted by: smfoster3 | June 18, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

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