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.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.