Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fun and 'Games' for Strasburg

Today of course marks the Major League debut of wunderkind pitcher Stephen Strasburg, and the MLB Network is capitalizing on the monstrous interest in the Nationals' #1 pick by showing the game tonight.

It may be the most eagerly awaited rookie pitcher start since portly pitcher Fernando "Eyes to the Sky" Valenzuela was taking the hill for the Dodgers back in '81.

One thing to look for amidst all the Strasburg hoopla--his pitching repertoire is so wicked (notice I didn't say "nasty") that pundits often compare it, not to other flesh-and-blood pitchers, but to video game pitchers. In short, mere mortals do not compare.

Harrisburg Senators closer Drew Storen had this to say about his former teammate:

“He’s got Nintendo stuff. You create a player on a video game, and that’s what he has. The ball just comes out differently from his hand. He does something that nobody else can do.”

Strasburg was also said to post video game-worthy statistics while at San Diego State. Strasburg turned a few heads when he struck out 23 against Utah back in 2008.

Reported the Las Vegas Sun:

His coach had never seen anything like it, and that’s saying something, because his coach has seen a lot. Tony Gwynn, a baseball Hall of Famer, once saw Kevin Brown strike out 16 Astros. But he never saw anybody strike out 23. That’s just crazy, Gwynn said.

“It was like a Nintendo game,” he said.

Writes BaseballDraftReport.com:

He also has Nintendo numbers through two seasons at San Diego State with 180 strikeouts, 31 walks, and 79 hits allowed — only 18 of them for extra bases — in 134.1 collegiate innings."

The first Stephen Strasburg-as-video game-reference I found came from none other than Tony Gwynn, MLB Hall of Famer and Strasburg's old coach at San Diego State.

Strasburg also tallied exBoxcellent numbers in the minors, reports Buffalo News.

Strasburg allowed just three hits, struck out nine and walked two. He's 3-0 in Triple-A, throwing 18 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and four walks and fanning 22.

Those are PlayStation numbers.

Sadly, no one references Atari 2600 anymore. I remember Atari skiiing (good), hockey (very good) and track (lame), but did Atari ever do baseball?

Either way, get those joysticks out of storage--it's game on at 7 p.m. tonight.


Anonymous said...

40,000 at the game--Nat fans are estatic. 14 k's in 7 innings! Pies in the face during his post game interviews--he wasn't smiling?

michelle malone said...

just watch the celebration of his victory. How exciting.

papamalone said...

Quite a debut on the "national" stage. AKA anonymous.