Error Unravels Strasburg
I have been waiting to write this article, because even I am still confused with what happened. On Saturday against the Cubs Stephen Strasburg was rolling. Through four innings he had 7 strikeouts, in just 53 pitches and had allowed just one hit. Then the wheels came off, and the Nationals go on to lose 8-2.
What the hell happened? In the 5th inning Strasburg got 2 quick outs, one being a gift when Luis Valbuena tried to turn a double into a triple. Then came the throwing error. A routine ground ball hit to Ryan Zimmerman turned into an error after the throw pulled Adam LaRoche off the bag. That was Zimmerman’s 6th error of the season. Okay, you never want to see an error when you are a pitcher, but it happens. What you need to do as a pitcher is nut-up and get the next guy out.
This is not what Strasburg did. He went on to allow the next seven hitters to get on base. This is not how an ace pitcher like Strasburg should handle situations like this. The Nationals pitching coach stated that they are working on trying to get Strasburg to realize “he’s human” and nothing in the sport of baseball is perfect. Something I would hope a player in High School would understand.
It is very disconcerting as a fan and I’m sure as a coach to see your star just come completely unraveled on something as little as a throwing error with no one on base. Davey Johnson had this to say after the game, “It’s hard to explain. He was throwing good, good stuff, hitting his spots. And then it seemed to, where we needed him to pick us up, the air went out … He’s too good a pitcher to let adversity behind him to let him down. He’s certainly capable of picking us up. It’s a team effort. And errors are part of the game.”
We have seen Strasburg come undone after and error before. Think back to the April 13th game against the Atlanta Braves. Again, Zimmerman makes a throwing error with two outs, and right after Strasburg leaves a pitch up in the zone and it is destroyed for a two-run home run. Again not as pronounced as this last melt down, but still expect your pitcher to get the next guy.
I feel it is time to start to worry about Strasburg. He is 1-5 and even though he looked great the first 4 innings of this game he is in no condition to lead this team into the playoffs as their ace.