In between typing and thinking this morning, I had the Nationals/Tigers game on the background, partially because having some noise--music, NPR, baseball--in the background is how I like to work.
But, today it was also to get a first glimpse of phenom Stephen Strasburg, who was making his first spring start. Note that we were supposed to see him throw at the AFL all-star game, but the right-hander was a late scratch.
So, how did he look?
In essence, good.
In the first inning he coaxed three straight ground ball outs from hitters on seven pitches, and in the second again got three straight outs including a pair of whiffs.
Technically, he was overthrowing, especially in the first when twice hitters grounded out with 2-0 counts. That was nice, but might not happen the same in a regular season game where the pitcher is struggling to find the zone.
And it was Strasburg's first outing, so he had to be both pumped and nervous, making the extended follow-through more than reasonable.
In the second he was still overpowering the ball some, but he also mixed in a very nice curve when nailing Miguel Cabrera, and his heavy sinker when putting away Clete Thomas.
Using his pitches and setting up was good. It shows Strasburg does indeed understand how to pitch, and as noted, the adrenalin was kicking in. Meaning all-in-all, it was a fine debut.
Not enough to make me want to bid $10 in any auction format, but good enough to convince me that stashing him on a reserve list in an NFBC format, for possible use later in the season, is not a bad way to go.
I have to figure in any other kind of ultra/keeper format, he is long gone.