Stephen Strasburg is killing me. Seriously. He is 1 and 4. I traded Ryan Braun for him and Josh Hamilton (another sore subject for me). Man, can I pick ‘em? I guarantee if anyone else had him in my league, he would be 4 and 1 right now.
For everyone who currently has Strasburg on his or her team, I’m sorry. This start is atrocious. It’s my fault. Need I bring up Joey Votto-Gate of 2012?
There are positives if you squint hard enough. Strasburg did have a decent outing. He struck out seven, had one walk and threw six scoreless after allowing three in the first. However, this means nothing when you are sucking wind in wins! The Nationals only gave him one run of support for the third straight game. The club has yet to score over three runs in any of his starts. Really, Bryce Harper?
Strasburg’s overall numbers are fine. He has a 3.16 ERA and a 3.33 FIP through Wednesday’s action. However, he needs wins! I’m in dead last place. CBSSports.com claims that it’s “only a matter of time” before the Nationals’ team puts some runs on the board for him. What is your definition of time? Can we bend it at this point? Did I mention I’m in dead last place?
The Washington Post doesn’t put all of the blame on the Nationals for Strasburg’s faltering. They point out that on a whole, Strasburg’s first pitch strike percentage has fallen. In 2011, Strasburg threw first-pitch strikes 71.6 percent of the time. That was the highest in baseball. The Washington Post talks about Strasburg carrying over his “challenge” mentality from college. There is no doubt that Strasburg put (and probably still puts) fear of shame into hitters. Last year, he threw 62.3 percent. That was still 34th among starters, but he was coming back from injury. Nevertheless, as of yesterday, he was down to 56.2 percent first strikes for the season. That makes him 84th among 107 starters. I’m in last place!
Strasburg fell behind four of the first five Cards hitters. He had to throw strikes on the hitter’s terms at that point. The game was lost before it began. Now, the Washington Post doesn’t deny that the Nationals are in a slump. Nonetheless, they note “the worst thing a team in a hitting slump can endure is an early deficit before it even gets to bat.”
CBSSports.com reports that Strasburg’s overall power ranking is 59. Yes, that’s up from last week. However, CBSSports.com predicted that he should really be somewhere in the higher 50s. Please note that as of this moment, Zack Greinke currently has a higher power ranking then Strasburg. He’s on the Disabled List and still has a higher power ranking than Stephen Strasburg. Last place = me.
To be fair, Strasburg hasn’t given me less than 10 points each week. However, he hasn’t come anywhere near the 24 points he allotted me in the first week. I understand that Strasburg is used to a shorted season but it’s definitely longer than one week. I’m in last place! I’m sure that the Nationals’ bats will awaken and Strasburg’s numbers will improve. However, for long-term success, Strasburg needs to start throwing first pitch strikes. If he doesn’t, I don’t think there is much further I can go then dead last place.