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.

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.