Strasburg's debut: would you believe June 9th or 10th?

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stephen strasburg headshot double-a.jpgWe’ve been hearing rumors of the Nationals giving Stephen Strasburg his major league debut June 4th against the Reds. Early this morning Jon Heyman but the kibosh on that, saying that it has to be later, because the Nats have a 100 major league innings pitched ceiling on him.  OK, he knows the agent. That might make sense.

A moment ago, Bill Ladson of MLB.com tweeted that the Nats are “are tentatively planning” to have Strasburg make his Major League debut “against the Bucs at Nationals Park
in June.”

The Pirates are in Nationals Park June 8th, 9th and 10th.  If Strasburg stays on regular rest he’d be ready for the 9th.  If they give him an extra day to deal with hype and the media crush and all of that, figure the 10th.

Given the uncertainly, maybe you should just buy tickets to every Nats game in June. Not that the Nats would ever, ever cultivate such uncertainty in order to sell tickets to more than just the game Strasburg actually starts.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.