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More Strasburg

Chico is driving across the desert, trying to make it to tonight's game. I think he'd agree, however, that last night's events make today's trip worth the trouble. He's filed a story on the no-hitter for Sunday's paper. Please take a look.

Want more? Check out the San Diego Union Tribune's photo gallery from the no-hitter.

Kirk Kenney has a story in today's Union Tribune, and more on his blog.

Oh, and here's the final gamer from last night; didn't make any papers.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  May 9, 2009; 12:15 PM ET
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Next: Today's Lineups


Tracee - Link to Harlan's piece is dead.

Rock Chalk Jayhwak.

Posted by: imissrfk | May 9, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I can't wait to read Chico's article (I think he's a terrific writer) and it sounds like that was a really special sports night. Wish I could have been there, and have been giving my San Diego based friend endless flak for letting his girlfriend talk him out of going!

Posted by: HenryStin | May 9, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Sorry; try again!

Posted by: Tracee Hamilton | May 9, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg's no-hitter is great but go easy on the hype. It's evidently not that hard to do against Air Force - it's the second time it's happened this year and their record is (14-32, 3-13). He's still by far the best pitcher in college but last night wasn't even a test for him. Given all of Boz's analysis, we still need to get him a fair price.

Posted by: natslifer | May 9, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg has been a man pitching against boys all season; the no-hitter is just a cherry on top of what everybody has already seen. He's as close to a "lock" at #1 as you're going to see - draft him & then hunker down for a long negotiation; he's still technically a JR in college, and Boras will leverage his options as best he can.

It may be more interesting to see what the Nationals do with the #10 overall pick this year; Draft the best available college player (hitter or pitcher), best available HS player (hitter or pitcher), or go for a highly-ranked "signable" pick (College SR - non-Boras sub-category).

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

What about a guy we already have? Martis is 4-0. Only 19 other pitchers have four wins, only five of have no losses.

His 4.67 ERA isn't stellar, but he's on pace (ha!) for over 20 wins.

This is still his rookie season. If he can keep this up, he'll have every bit as much of a chance at ROY as Zimmermann.

And don't forget - Bowden got him for Mike Stanton. Even a broken watch is right twice a day.

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 9, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

*five of them

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 9, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

JiM, good point about Martis.
With all the Strasburg hype, let's not dampen the excitement and recognition that Shairon and Z'nn deserve. We have a couple of studs with these guys, hopefully for a long time.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 9, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

usmc53, any chance that you are also usmcaztec?

Posted by: slewis1 | May 9, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

He doesn't sound very excited about coming to DC - refuses to follow the team, etc. Unlike his mom. But large sums of $ can always change a person's outlook, for better or worse.

I think someone has been studying Shirley Povich. Cheeks if you ever decide to go somewhere else as a writer, you should always keep your hand in sports>

>He faced 28 batters, just one above the minimum, controlling them like marionettes. Seventeen struck out. Air Force had no hits and no near-hits.


Strasburg threw a slider that swooped in like a bird of prey; Carter watched, frozen. As the umpire pumped his arm, Strasburg took two steps off the mound and spiked his mitt into the ground. His catcher, Erik Castro, rushed to meet him, nearly tackling him by the legs. A full-team mob arrived seconds later.

Posted by: Brue | May 9, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

slewis1: No chance.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 9, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse


Bless you for being so positive & enthusiastic, but let's not get carried too far away. Martis & JZmm are both doing well, and could be very-good middle of the rotation pitchers (or better) in the future, but they're not studs yet.

A starting staff with Lannan-Martis-JZimm-Olsen juggling the 2-5 slots could end up being very good, but still lacks an "alpha-male", imo. Strasburg could possibly fill that role in 2010, but odds are against it, long-term.

That being said, the Nationals still need to draft & sign Strasburg, for both the franchise & the fan-base's well-being.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg's no-hitter is great but go easy on the hype. It's evidently not that hard to do against Air Force - it's the second time it's happened this year and their record is (14-32, 3-13). He's still by far the best pitcher in college but last night wasn't even a test for him. Given all of Boz's analysis, we still need to get him a fair price.

Posted by: natslifer | May 9, 2009 1:07 PM

Good analysis on all accounts however striking out 17 with the movement he had was very impressive in a No-Hit performance as only 10 balls were put in play which is amazing!!!

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | May 9, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

BinM, I hear you. I'm not saying I expect an automatic win whenever Z'nn or Martis takes the hill, but like you said, I think they can be solid middle-of-the-rotation guys for us, which is huge as we look to the Nats' chances to win in the future. When I said "studs" that's all I meant, guys who can be productive in the rotation for (hopefully) a number of years.

Go Nats! Big one tonight.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 9, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

usmc53: just wondering. usmcaztec posted to one of the SD newspaper articles about Strasburg that he lived in the DC area and was looking forward to having Strasburg in a Nat's uniform. I believe you had also mentioned that you used in to live in SD. Thought I was being quite the detective . . .

Posted by: slewis1 | May 9, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Good piece by Chico

The one refreshing thing to me was the lack of superlatives that a certain former GM used as a crutch.

Nowhere in there did Rizzo use any comparisons to Tom Seaver or Nolan Ryan.

Just a talented young pitcher with room to improve.

Posted by: Brian_ | May 9, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Actually, a lot of Marines have DC and San Diego connections, with Quantico, the Pentagon, Camp Pendleton, and Miramar being located in/around those two towns.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 9, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

It was also interesting to see Tony Gwynn's comments about how Strasburg's game will have to change in order to be successful in the majors. I would guess that a lot of coaches would help to over-hype their star player(s), to help them get huge contracts. Gwynn seems like a real professional, saying it like it is.

Posted by: usmc53 | May 9, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

From Rob Neyer's blog at

"Well, that didn't take long. Despite the flukiest hot start baseball has seen since Tuffy Rhodes, it looks like the Emilio Bonifacio era may be coming to an end in Florida. The Marlins have recalled top prospect Chris Coghlan from Triple-A, where he was hitting .348/.425/.565 with a 12/10 BB/K ratio to go along with 12 extra base hits. The power was the nice surprise so far, as no one questions his ability to handle the bat and control the strike zone. He's not the greatest athlete in the world, but he's a baseball player. He's essentially the anti-Bonifacio...

...How he distributes the playing time at third base will be something of a litmus test for manager Fredi Gonzalez. The sooner he puts Bonifacio on the bench the better, and hopefully it's permanent this time...

...Bonifacio's season line: .250/.295/.306 -- practically dead even with his career line (which now encompasses 345 plate appearances in the majors). Honestly, when you enter a season with a player like Bonifacio in your lineup, you're just throwing games away. The Marlins are not generally a stupid franchise. So exactly how and why does something like this happen?"

Posted by: BGinVA | May 9, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Brian, usmc:

Good points - Gwynn alludes to the fact that any MLB starting pitcher needs more than two pitches he can count on for strikes in order to survive in the bigs.

A ++fastball will give you a job as a reliever or closer, as long as your arm holds out (see Zumaya-DET); a pitcher with a +fastball & one +breaking pitch (curve/slider/etc.) can earn a job as middle-of-the-rotation SP; The "real-deal, top of the rotation" SP should have a combination of +fastballs (91-95), a +hard breaking pitch (curve/slider/splitter), and an off-speed pitch (curve, change-up, knuckle-curve, knuckleball) from the fastball motion to survive in MLB.

Strasburg will need to control the 2-finger & 4-finger fastball, as well as his curve & slider consistently in order to become a well-rounded MLB pitcher.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I hope Chico has a nice report from what I assume was his trip out the oft-overlooked I-8. Beautiful road; like driving across the back side of the moon.

Posted by: Sam675309 | May 9, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Nice F-Lop quite from the O.P.:

"When I went to St. Louis, I was able to be around some professional people and got my [stuff] straight," he said. "As soon as I walked in, it was like, 'Oh [expletive], this is the way it's supposed to feel. Not like that.' "

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 9, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse


What your quote from Neyer doesn't reflect if that 1) it was a salary-dump by the Marlins, 2) it was actually a 3-for-2 trade (Bonifacio/Dean/Smolinski) for (Olsen/Willingham).

Bonifacio started hot against the Nationals, but has cooled off; The true value of that trade may be 2-3 years off, but as of right now, the Nationals got the better of the Marlins.

Posted by: BinM | May 9, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

On April 19th, following the third straight blown save against the Marlins, the Nationals were 1-10. Now they are 9-18, meaning that since the bullpen shakeup they are 8-8 (.500). How about that?

Posted by: nunof1 | May 9, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

So . . . the late edition of the print edition of the Post is only an occasional event?

Posted by: paulkp | May 10, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

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