By Jason Klein
Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 6/9/10
“It’s like your wedding night,” the young Washington Nationals phenom recalled. “You go into it wanting to really remember everything, and once it’s done, you don’t remember a single thing.”
Speak for yourself kid.
Last night’s ultra-impressive 14 strikeout, 0 walk debut performance by rookie Stephen Strasburg will long be remembered by baseball fans across the nation.
His fastball was dominant. His curve ball was filthy. His command was masterful. His future is bright.
The most anticipated Major League Debut in the history of the game lived up to the hype. Strasburg isn’t the first highly-touted rookie, but no other arrival on the big league scene was accompanied by the social media tsunami that confronted Strasburg. How did he react? He answered every last Tweet and Wall Posting with seven remarkable innings of work.
Until Tuesday night in D.C., Strasburg’s freakish skill set was just folklore. He was selected #1 overall by the Nationals during the 2009 MLB Draft, and his Roy Hobbs-like myth immediately began spreading across the country. In his first start against the Pirates in Washington, the fable came to fruition.
His 14 strike outs are already a franchise record, and he sat down the last 7 batters he faced. His final pitch, the 94th of the evening, was a 99 mph fastball to Andy LaRoche for the strikeout. Nice first impression.
A few late runs put Strasburg in position to pick up the victory, and his storybook initiation was complete. All that remained was a standing ovation, and curtain call from 40,314 optimistic believers at Nationals Park, plus an obligatory pie-in-the-face to punctuate the evening.
The kid certainly set the bar high for himself with his first performance, and fans shouldn’t expect to see double-digit strikeout totals each time he takes the mound. But for one night in our Nation’s Capitol, the future of Washington Nationals baseball looked very bright.
Kind of like your wedding day, everything was perfect and dripping with optimism and feelings of new beginnings. A marriage made in heaven. It was a debut no one will have any trouble remembering.
Connect With JasonFollow @ByJasonKlein