Stephen Strasburg beat the Reds last night to improve to 5-2 with a 2.32 ERA in nine starts and Byron Kerr of MASNSports.com notes that the 22-year-old rookie also fired back at some of the hecklers in Cincinnati as he walked off the mound:
All you need to know about the fire of the competitor that is Strasburg occurred when he was taken out of the game in the sixth. With the Nats up 7-3, a Reds fan behind the visitor’s dugout was giving it to Strasburg.
As he walked down the stairs to the dugout to high fives from his teammates, Strasburg yelled back “Scoreboard! Scoreboard!” and pointed to the video jumbo screen in left field that showed the Washington lead. Willie Harris said it pumped him up to hear Strasburg get after the fan and said “Let ’em have it, Stras!”
Early on there were some rumblings about Strasburg being too low key, so Nationals fans are probably glad to see him show a little personality even if “scoreboard!” isn’t exactly the most original comeback to taunts.
Oh, and in addition to the sparkling 2.32 ERA he also has a 75/15 K/BB ratio and .216 opponents’ batting average in 54.1 innings and has yet to allow more than three runs in a start.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.