Stephen Strasburg pitches during a March 2010 preseason game against the Atlanta Braves.
In California, tomorrow’s primary election day. But in Washington, D.C., it’ll be Stephen Strasburg day. That’s when the pitching phenomenon from Southern California is scheduled to make his major league debut with the Washington Nationals. The town hasn’t been this excited since inauguration day.
He may be the best pitcher in baseball — the 21-year-old Stephen Strasburg throws a hundred-mile-an-hour fastball and a wicked curve.
But until he takes the mound in his first major league appearance, it’s all “promises, promises.”
That’s been enough for Washington Nationals fans who’ve followed his every step since the team drafted the San Diego native last year. Strasburg spent the spring with a pair of minor league clubs, racking up a 6-and-2 record, striking out 60 batters. Now he gets to try out his stuff on major league hitters.
"I feel like I’ve been ready," Strasburg says, "but there’s always things to work on, there’s always things to get better at."
Strasburg fever is everywhere. TV ratings for his minor league games beat those of the parent club. The town of Strasburg, Virginia wants to change its name to “Stephen Strasburg” – at least for a week.
Outfielder Niger Morgan gave the rookie the nickname “Jesus” – not because he’s seen as the Nats' savior, but because that’s what hitters say when they see his fastball.