Stephen Strasburg completed his third major league start earlier tonight, allowing just one run over seven innings while striking out 10 as part of a no-decision against the White Sox. With President Obama — a White Sox fan — in attendance, the Nationals eventually lost the game 2-1 in 11 innings.
With the 10 strikeouts, Strasburg established a new rookie record with 32 strikeouts over his first three major league starts, passing J.R. Richard, who held the previous record with 29 over his first three starts with the Astros in 1971.
Strasburg gave up a quick run in the first inning on a groundout by Alex Rios, but he held the White Sox to just two hits from there. He retired 15 in a row at one point until giving up a single to Gavin Floyd to lead off the top of the sixth inning. And after issuing five free passes against the Indians on Sunday, he did not walk a batter on Friday.
Strasburg threw 59 out of 85 pitches for strikes and according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com, he had 19 pitches at 98 mph or above and two at 100 mph.
The rookie right-hander has a 1.86 ERA and 32/5 K/BB ratio over his first three big league starts. He’s scheduled to take on the Royals next Wednesday.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.