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Stephen Strasburg live blog, Syracuse edition, Vol. 2

8:58: Drew Storen has entered in relief on Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg's lines are below.

Tonight: 6 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 7 K

Class AAA: 12 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 13 K

Minors: 34 IP, 4 ER, 14 H, 8 BB, 40 K (1.06 ERA, 0.65 WHIP)

8:53: Strasburg is still no-hitting the Tides through six, but not after a scare. He received a standing ovation from the Alliance Bank Stadium crowd, and he is likely finished after 79 pitches and six innings. Manager Trent Jewett did speak of stretching him out a little bit, but Drew Storen is up in the Syracuse bullpen. It's probably over for Strasburg. If so, four of his last five outings have been one-hit or no-hit starts. To quote Nyjer Morgan, "Jeee-zusss."

In that inning, Adam Donachie rocked a fly ball about 360 feet to left field, just shy of the warning track. It fell into Chase Lambin's glove for nothing but a long out, the second of the inning. Strasburg recovered by just smoking three pitches by Gathright for his seventh strikeout.

8:25: It's still pretty ridiculous at Alliance Bank Stadium. Strasburg struck out two with a groundball mixed in in the fifth. He's still got a no-hitter going against the Tides. He threw 10 strikes in 13 pitches that inning, striking out Michael Aubrey looking at a 3-2, 82-mph curveball to finish off an eight-pitch at-bat. Overall, Strasburg has thrown 47 strikes in 66 pitches, striking out six and walking one.

8:10: Three more up, three more down for the phenom. After a fly to right on a curve ball and a strikeout on a curveball in which Jeff Salazer missed by about a foot, Strasburg had a fascinating at-bat with Bell. Strasburg pitched him backwards, starting him with a curve (looking, strike one) and a changeup (swinging, strike two). Strasburg then pumped a 98-mph fastball under Bell's chin. He missed with a curve outside for ball two. Bell gamely fouled off a fastball and then a changeup, put popped up a 98-mph fastball to shallow left, where Lopez made the catch. That was a great at-bat by Bell, one of the game's best prospects, and he still seemed pretty helpless.

Through four, Strasburg has allowed one walk and no hits while striking out four. Only one ball has been hit hard. Dominating doesn't really do it justice.

7:53: It's becoming pretty clear that Strasburg's presence in the minor leagues, whatever it means for him, is unfair for the competition. Blake Davis reached with the first solid contact all night, a one-hopper on a curve that Syracuse shortstop Pedro Lopez let boink off his glove for an error. From the stretch, Strasburg struck out Adam Donachie on an 80-mph curveball. With Gathright batting, catcher Carlos Maldonado threw out Davis trying to steal by a mile. Gathright then looked at a 98-mph on the black of the inside corner for strike three.

Strasburg threw 10 strikes in 12 pitches in the third, bringing him 26 and 37 for the game. In nine Class AAA innings, he's allowed one hit and struck out nine with two walks.

7:35: Strasburg got it heated up a little bit a 1-2-3 second inning. He hit 98 on the radard gun three times and 97 three times. He struck out Scott Moore looking at an implausible 81-mph changeup right after he threw him a 97-mph fastball. Two grouners to first later, Strasburg had finished his eighth Class AAA inning. The totals: one hit, seven strikeouts, two walks. In the second, he threw 10 pitches, six strikes. 25 pitches total this game, 16 strikes.

7:22: Stephen Strasburg featured mostly fastballs in a pretty smooth first inning. He walked Jeff Salazar with two outs on a tough 3-2 call, a 95-mph fastball that just missed the outside corner, but otherwise got a chopper to short and two opposite field pops to left. Unlike his last Class AA start, Strasburg gave no looks toward the umpire.

He threw 15 pitches, 10 strikes and 11 fastballs. Round 1 of Strasbrug-Bell went decidely to Strasburg. Bell fouled away a 97-mph fastball (the fastest pitch Strasburg threw), swung through a nasty, 86-mph change and then flied lazily to left.

The crowd is not overflowing like Strasburg's Syracuse debut five days ago. Half of the upper deck is completely empty.

7:11: Strasburg is about to get it going against Norfolk leadoff man Joey Gathright. On tap is a titantic prospect showdown with Josh Bell, batting cleanup.

6:55: When Stephen Strasburg pitches here at Alliance Bank Park, "it turns into a zoo," Class AAA Syracuse Manager Trent Jewett. Never has that been truer than tonight. Screech and the Racing Presidents are in the house. Strasburg and the rest of the Sky Chiefs will be wearing pink jersey to promote breast cancer awareness. They had matching pink hats, too, but they turned out to be too small - the back broke when Kevin Mench tried to squeeze one over his famously large noggin.

Strasburg's second Class AAA start may precede some finagling of his pitching schedule. The Nationals have not made a final decision on his next start, Jewett said. Matt Chico will start Friday for the Sky Chiefs, slotting an extra arm in Syracuse's rotation. Strasburg may receive an extra day of rest.

"We'll see how it goes," Jewett said. "At a certain point, [pitching coordinator] Spin [Williams] and the people in the front office will want to see if he needs normal rest, an extra day, whatever. That's a decision they'll make. We'll see how tonight goes."

The takeaway from that: Say Strasburg gets an extra day of rest in between his next three starts. He'll have made five Class AAA starts, 10 minor league outings in total, by May 30. Five days later, June 4, the Nationals open a homestand against the Cincinnati Reds. The Super Two clock will definitely be up. The Nationals could start Strasburg on June 4 and then bring him back for June 10 (the Nats have an off June 7) against the Pirates, the final game of the homestand. Two Strasburg starts in that homestand would be an attendance bonanza.

As for tonight, Strasburg's restrictions have been somewhat relaxed. Caution will still rule the night, but the hard-and-fast six innings or 85 pitches does not apply, Jewett said.

"The last time, he breezed," Jewett said. "The thing we want to do is, we want to get him stretched out. At the same time, we want to make sure we're not asking for too much of him. You can't get emotional about it and try to win a ballgame at this level to the detriment of a young No. 1 starter. I don't know that there's major restrictions, but we'll proceed with caution."

First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. Even though Wednesday is Flip Night at Faegan's, we'll be here bringing you updates all game.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 12, 2010; 6:55 PM ET
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Next: Washington Nationals Q&A with Tracee Hamilton, 9:30 a.m.


is this game going to be televised (either live or tape delayed)?


Posted by: sethmartin | May 12, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

It would be a complete travesty to expect Jesus to pitch twice in the first homestand. The pressure. The avarice of the Lerners looking only to fill the stadium and not nurture the young phenom. The fact that I have tickets on the 8th and not the 4th or 10th. A travesty, I tell you!

Enjoyed that win today. Watched the whole thing until the 8th, then had to leave them tied for a previous commitment. Left figuring 2009 had somehow made a comeback, and was delighted to find twas not the case! Go Nats!

Posted by: NatsFly | May 12, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Shown on tape delay on MASN at 10:30.

Posted by: jfromPG | May 12, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, tape delayed sometime after 10:30 after the Dirty Birds are finished. I thought we were on the other MASAN channel. Thanks Peter.

Posted by: NatsFly | May 12, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

mlb network was showing a live feed of strasburg's first inning with the studio guys gushing over him...Hopefully they go back.

Posted by: boricuabopper | May 12, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

FWIW if you go to the Syracuse Chiefs web page you can link to the radio coverage of the game. Free and no registration required.

Posted by: marathoner | May 12, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Was that ruled a hit against Strasburg? The tv announcers said it was ruled an error.

Btw, the game is streaming live on $6.95 buys you a month of milb games, albeit not at great quality.

Posted by: cassander | May 12, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

the MLB folk sound like kids talking about their Christmas gifts they are so excited watching Strasburg. I can't lie, he looks pretty darn good. Come June, the Nats may make a run. Should be fun

Posted by: jfromPG | May 12, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

He makes pink look menacing

Posted by: jfromPG | May 12, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the Nats have run out of minor leagues for the Phenom.

Posted by: mojo6 | May 12, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Strasburg may be beating up the AAA competition, but he'll always be 0-1 vs. UVA!

Posted by: confusedeasily | May 12, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

confusedeasily -- good one! I wonder if you'll be the only team that could ever say that!

Interesting dilemma if Strassy keeps pitching 6-inning no-hitters and one-hitters . . . how long can they keep him in the minors when guys like Marquis, etc., are injured?

And than another (fantasy) dilmma in Sept if the Nats are in a race and they need to shut him down . . .

A guy can dream, right?

Posted by: ADCWonk | May 12, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

@marathoner cheers mate

Posted by: olsonchr | May 12, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

"And than another (fantasy) dilmma in Sept if the Nats are in a race and they need to shut him down . . ."

They bring up Jordan Zimmermann who will need the work. They then pitch him every sixth day or alternate with Zimmermann.

Posted by: periculum | May 12, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Perc, not that I expect the Nats to be contending, but I hope you're right that JZimm will be that far along in September

Posted by: nats24 | May 12, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Three words for you:

Hector Carrasco

(The third word fits in between the other two, but is unfit for a family blog).


"And than another (fantasy) dilmma in Sept if the Nats are in a race and they need to shut him down . . ."

Posted by: JohninMpls | May 12, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

"Three words for you:

Hector Carrasco"

Phew! At least you didn't say "Kerry Wood"!

Posted by: ADCWonk | May 12, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

And just to make Riggles happy, who might be watching Ron Vilone is now in the game.

Posted by: periculum | May 12, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Zimmermann is currently slated for Rehab starts at least by August if all goes as well as it has up to now. He may be ready to return in September if not earlier. Please let it be so ... and not the walking wounded of Wang and Marquis.

Posted by: periculum | May 12, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Why even bother w/ AAA? Get him to the bigs tomorrow.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou56 | May 12, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Something from today's game that hasn't gotten enough attention:

I love the two HRs as much as anybody, but the 5th inning catch today by Bernadina with the bases loaded -- and the one last week -- rank with anything I've seen since we got baseball back -- up in the league with Willie Harris, for sure, which is really exclusive company.

These defensive plays don't get as much credit as the hitting, because really clutch catches tend to defy even Sabermetrics.

Posted by: nats24 | May 12, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

nats24, I agree with you. Bernadina's catch to end the 5th did as much to win today's game as his HRs did. If he doesn't make that catch, we're down at least 7-4 after 5 innings, and it's a completely different ballgame.

Great game Roger Bernadina!!

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

What did Storen do tonight??

Posted by: usmc53 | May 12, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Below is the pitching box from tonight. One hit and two walks in an inning and a third by Storen. Villone picked him up.

Strasburg (W, 2-0) 6.0 0 0 0 1 7 0 0.00
Storen, D 1.1 1 0 0 2 1 0 1.35
Villone 1.2 1 0 0 1 2 0 7.36

Posted by: marathoner | May 12, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

It's 10:48 and still no sign of the O's post-game show stopping their yapping...

I think they may be enjoying the ratings boost of Strasburg's start to bump up the O's coverage numbers...

I missed the game today - forgot to set the DVR and it wasn't on reply during the evening. Great curly W!

Posted by: mo_dc | May 12, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

OK, 11:04 for the first pitch. Anyone watching live or on DVR will see/hear what the minors mean -- lower class singers for the National Anthem! Ouch!

Posted by: mo_dc | May 12, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

I guess this is what I get for coming to terms with the MASN/AngelO's agreement. Tonight's programming was total horsesh*t. MASN's programmers were just petrified that Strasburg would demolish the Orioles head to head, meaning more power leaning to our end of the market.

Sorry Angelos, we're going to kill you eventually - with some of your money fueling it! I don't feel bad for them at all. If they put all their efforts into properly building a mid-market club (like the Twins) instead of obsessing about DC, maybe they'd have a team worth watching in Balmore, hon.

Posted by: Kev29 | May 12, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Poor Roger. Listed among today's "Top Performers" on ESPN MLB score page, but they don't even have a photo for him! Someone in the Nats PR dept should fix that.

Posted by: g3jr | May 12, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

And if you click on the recap of the game, they have a photo Bernadinas diving to make the game-saving catch (on the right side of the page). The caption? "Washington Nationals' Willie Harris makes a diving catch of Jeff Francoeur's fifth inning flyout with bases..." I guess they figured it was Willie because it was against the Mets. Poor Roger, indeed...

Posted by: thepostischeap | May 12, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Now look what we've done: our faithlessness has called down the Spamdemon itkonlyyou56!!

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 12, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Bring him up!! I mean, come on. Why spend even 6 more of his 150 innings on the Chiefs, when he can be winning games for the Nats? It's time Mike. Bring him up!

Posted by: Section222 | May 12, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

You know why. Why keep asking?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | May 12, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse


The NATS are saving about 8-12 million from advancing his arbritation date and control him for another 1-2 years until he is a free agent. June 6-8 or whenever will be here soon enough. Patience, patience.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: ehardwick | May 12, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Unreal. Three weeks away... can't wait.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | May 13, 2010 2:54 AM | Report abuse

What, ESPn has Willie Harris making the catch in RF? I thought it was Lennie Harris?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | May 13, 2010 5:46 AM | Report abuse

Bernadina is looking at that caption and thinking to himself, "those African-Americans are impostors".

Posted by: Sunderland | May 13, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I used's "Customer Care" entry to post them this morning on the errors on the page where the "Willie Harris" photos were. Roger Bernadina was not the only one slighted there; Nyjer Morgan's good running catch in deep left-center yesterday was listed as "Willie Harris" as well. I got their automated response at 7:48 AM this morning, and just now (12:20 PM) I got another response from them that they "escalated the issue for review" and "will make any necessary corrections." It sounds like they'll fix it.

Posted by: bertbkatz | May 13, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

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