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Stephen Strasburg's debut: A breakdown

The Post has some really, really cool tools online to help relive Stephen Strasburg's unforgettable debut last night. You can track, contrast and compare his pitches. You can also review every at-bat from last night. It's just cool.

You don't need any help to conclude Strasburg had an amazing night. But they help add perspective.

The Pirates swung 41 times in Strasburg's 94 pitches. They missed 18 times, 43.9 percent of their swings. For perspective, the highest percentage among qualifying pitchers of swings that miss is 35.3, by Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard.

Back to those 41 swings. The Pirates managed three hits, one home run, four ground balls (one of them a double play), two fly balls and 13 foul balls. The Pirates had three hits while putting nine balls in play, which is actually slightly unlucky.

Strasburg threw 53 fastballs (35 strikes, 18 balls), 26 curves (19 strikes, seven balls) and 15 changeups (11 strikes, four balls). Given how much his curveball breaks, the strike-to-ball ratio on his curveball is absurd. The Pirates generally treated it like a miracle of modern science.

At the end of his night, Strasburg offered incredible evidence of his stamina. His last four fastballs -- which were pitches No. 89, 90, 91 and 94 -- zipped home at 98, 98, 99 and 99 miles per hour. He had his very best stuff at the very end of the night. It shows how easy he throws -- he can reach back when he needs to, but he does not strain to throw what is one of the three hardest fastballs by a starter in baseball.

Out in the bullpen, Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard had started warming up, and they got a little distracted. Earlier in the game, they had laughed at some of the swings Strasburg produced. Now, with the crowd frenzied and standing, they pumped their fists. "You don't do that when you're warming up," Storen said.

And, yeah, you can see why they got so excited.

By Adam Kilgore  |  June 9, 2010; 12:04 PM ET
Categories:  Stephen Strasburg  
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Next: The Nationals' draft after two days


First....of all Strasburg is awesome! Second....I can't help but notice a little resemblance between Adam and Stras. Ha.

Posted by: TeeSkins | June 9, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse


Do you think there is a chance that John Lannan gets an advantage tonight because of the contrast between Strasburg's pitches and his? I can imagine that the Pirates' timing could be all messed up right now, and that Lannan's softer stuff could be confusing at the beginning of the game.


Posted by: kevincostello | June 9, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

+1/2: Can you imagine having Stras followed in the rotation (within a series) by Livo? It gives me a headache to think about. The kid's slowest stuff is about the same speed as Livo's fastball. And they both make hitters look silly.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | June 9, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

So say Strasburg continues like this through June and into July.

Does Charlie Manuel make him one of the NL's pitchers in the All-Star game?

Posted by: gilbertbp | June 9, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Manuel, is it just me, or does this seem like a bad idea for a promo in Philly?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 9, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

The Nationals were fading a bit in the standings but Strasburg's arrival might just have been the tonic necessary to wake guys up.

Not only did he get supported with 3 home runs last night, but the glaring errors we saw in the field the previous week were noticeably absent last night.

While Dunn at first is challenged at times to field his position and Guzman should never have been yo-yoed to RF, the better defense I think is at least in part attributable to greater focus and concentration.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | June 9, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"So say Strasburg continues like this through June and into July.

Does Charlie Manuel make him one of the NL's pitchers in the All-Star game?"

Unfortunately Charlie Manuel won't get to see Strasburg in person until after the ASB. Because if he did, he probably would.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 9, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

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