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
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.
Yesterday it was reported that someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey, which had been hanging in the Alsonso High School dugout in Tampa for a vigil. That was pretty vile stuff indeed.
Thankfully, however, someone’s conscience got the best of them: the jersey has been returned. School officials say that a family found a large envelope outside of the high school with the words “Jose’s jersey” written on it. They took the envelope into to the school this morning and the jersey was found inside.
Bad form taking it, whoever you are, but in most cases it’s never too late to make a better decision and fix your mistakes.
In late August, when everyone started looking at the schedule in an effort to see who had the easiest road ahead of them to the playoffs, the Tigers stood out as particularly blessed. The end of their season featured several games against the lonely Twins and, if things were tight heading into the final weekend, a three-game series against the lowly Braves.
Problem: the Braves have not been very lowly lately, and that could cause the Tigers all kinds of grief.
Atlanta has won 10 of 11 games. They’ve scored 66 runs in those games and their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.28 over that span. Oh, and remember how, earlier in the season, the Braves were hitting like a deadball era team, being outhomered by multiple individual players? Well, they’ve hit ten during this neat little run. Really, though, the run isn’t that little. They’ve won 19 of 30 and have been a solid team, offensively speaking, since late July. They’re hot as heck now and haven’t been pushovers for some time.
So enter the Tigers, who have been seesawing through August and September and who have to play in Atlanta this weekend without their DH, Victor Martinez. Oh, and who stand a halfway decent chance of having to fly out of Atlanta Sunday evening for a makeup game in Detroit that could then cause them to play a tiebreaker game in Toronto or Baltimore which could then have them travel to the other city for a Wild Card game. And that’s if things break decently.
If they break poorly? It’ll be a long, season-closing flight home from Atlanta. A city that was supposed to provide respite for them when it first appeared on the schedule.