Stephen Strasburg: A Report

This isn't Pirates-related, but I watched likely first overall 2009 draft pick Stephen Strasburg pitch against UNLV tonight and I thought there might be interest in a report.

Amateur baseball is not my area of expertise, and I'm not a scout, but if I were, I don't think his performance would be that much easier to describe. He was so much better than anyone else on the field that the game was less like any major league contest I've ever seen and more like an experienced gamer facing off against some poor patsy of a team in PlayStation. Sure, the other team might have dribbled a few hits in there, but for the most part, racking up strikeouts was mundane, a simple step-by-step process. 

In the first inning, it was clear that UNLV's hitters were totally unprepared to face someone with Strasburg's mitt-popping velocity, and they were behind most of his fastballs and fouled a lot of them off. Strasburg struck out the side. After that, UNLV tried sitting on the fastball, which got them a couple of hits, so Strasburg started mixing in breaking pitches that totally flummoxed them. 

He wound up with 14 strikeouts (I think; I can't find the boxscore online) in six innings. He allowed two runs, but neither were cause for concern--one came in on a balk, and the other was scored by a guy who reached base after Strasburg's catcher didn't catch one of his strikeouts. There were a ton of scouts in the crowd with radar guns, but there unfortunately weren't any radar readings on the scoreboard. But the sound his fastball made in his catcher's glove was amazing, and it appeared, from where I sat, that his location was very good too, as a number of batters looked baffled by called strikes. He looked really good, in other words, and I didn't see anything that proved all the glowing reports about him wrong.

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