Columnist: Stephen Strasburg shouldn't strike so many guys out


I suppose this was inevitable. When you tire of superlatives to describe Stephen Strasburg’s game, you go contrary and try to find a fault.  And I suppose there are faults to be found, because no pitcher is perfect. But this one from Tom Boswell of the Washington Post seems like a bit of a stretch:

Relax, all right? Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are
boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls – it’s
more democratic.

OK, that’s me paraphrasing, but that’s basically what he’s saying. Too many of his outs are by strikeout, more strikeouts usually leads to more pitches, and more pitches are bad for the Savior.

I guess I’m having a hard time seeing the problem as long as his pitch counts are monitored and as long as he doesn’t appear to be altering his approach to a given hitter in an effort to simply get more strikeouts for their own sake.  But hey, if they can’t hit the ball, what’s the harm in letting him throw it by them?

And lest we forget, Strasburg’s first two starts came against Cleveland and Pittsburgh.  I have this feeling that his future opponents will manage a little more contact off the kid.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.