Please Stop Tinkling on Stephen Strasburg's Parade

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The Pittsburgh Pirates are not a good team. Heck, I had irrationally lofty hopes for them this season when I opined they'd finish with 81 wins; having seen them play a few games this year, that has as much chance of happening as John Kruk fitting into a size XXL t-shirt. But although this year's Bucs are not especially talented as a whole, the top three hitters in their lineup last night against Stephen Strasburg are damn good.

Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, and Lastings Milledge (filling in for a concussed Ryan Doumit in the three-hole) are not the schlubs we've been led to believe populate the Pirates' batting order. McCutchen and Walker both have OPS averages above .850 while Milledge is among the hardest outfielders to strike out in the majors. Yet in the sixth inning last night, when nobody watching could have possibly imagined the young pitcher could possibly get better, Strasburg struck out those three hitters.

And then one inning later, he struck out three more, all swinging, including notorious fastball power hitter Garrett Jones and a guy who had already homered on Strasburg earlier in Delwyn Young. I nearly drove off the road when I heard this stunning inning on the radio.

So to downplay Strasburg's historically dominant performance from last night because it "was against a Triple-A team, harf harf harf" cheapens the historical significance of the night. Sure, Strasburg may never accumulate Hall of Fame credentials and sure, the Pirates might never pull themselves out of their endless run of misery. But that debut last night carries heavy importance...even against a team that might be the worst in the National League.

And if you're wondering, the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis currently sit just one game out of the Wild Card in the International League. I wonder how many of those fellas would have struck out against Strasburg.


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16 Comments

I remain unconvinced. Not about Strasburgh. But about the Pirates.

Strasburg, too!!1

If you call yourself a fan of baseball and didn't enjoy this, then you need to reevaluate your life.

I HAVE BEEN CONVERTED, HEAL ME STRASJESUS

I missed it... but clearly, Pirates or no, that's a hell of a debut.

FORGIVE ME, STRASJESUS, FOR I HAVE SINNED

If the Pirates suck so much why doesn't every pitcher average 2 K's/inning against them?

Kid was nasty last night.

HATERS TO THE LEFT

Haters to the left of me, fanboys to to the right, here I am. Stuck in new Jersey with youuuuuuuu

To be honest, I think the 0 walks is more impressive than the 14 Ks.

Especially considering he got into a few 3 ball counts, Phony. Hell, he was down 3-0 and came back to get the K on one poor PirateBro.

Good point Phony. I figured he would have walked a few guys just from the nerves of being his major league debut.

I wish StrasJesus would tinkle on me...

Let it be said: I, for one, am glad that TartanElk has joined up as a regular commenter at Walkoff Walk. It's always nice to have new folks to hang out and be funny.

I just hang out here, I'm still working on the "be funny" part.

I don't know what the Tartan is, but the Elk part just makes me hungry.

WHY CAN'T WE MAKE YOU THE HAPPY, ROB? YOU NO LOVE US ANYMORE???

Aww Rob how sweet of you. The flowers are in the mail.

@UU: I find you to be one of the funnier commenters on these hallowed pages, that Phony Gwynn though...

TartanElk is the horribly, awesomely funny name that Microsoft gave me when I tried to sign up for Xbox Live last year. I've used it ever since. Enjoy.

Coincidentally, Elk is not a bad meat, but not something I'd go out of my way for.

I watch the Pirates play a lot. I watch the Pirates play badly a lot. They're bad and besides a few guys, they really can't hit at all. But I have never, ever seen the Pirates look as bad or as flummoxed as they did against Strasburg last night. He was a 14-year old Danny Almonte, they were the flailing 12-year olds that didn't stand a chance.

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