Earlier this week all indications were that Stephen Strasburg’s final start of 2011 would come Friday against the Braves and the Nationals would not bring him back on normal rest to pitch the season finale on September 28.
However, yesterday manager Davey Johnson told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that he’d like to see Strasburg start the finale “if I don’t get anyone to fight me too hard” among the team’s higher-ups.
Strasburg has been brilliant in three starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, throwing 14 innings with a 1.29 ERA and 11/0 K/BB ratio.
He’s just 12 months removed from going under the knife, so Washington has kept him on a limited pitch count of around 60 for each outing. For now rookie Brad Peacock is penciled in for the Nationals’ final game, so it’ll be interesting to see if Johnson gets his wish.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.