Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg makes his fifth start of his career tonight in Atlanta before another nationally televised audience.
Strasburg has been close to unstoppable in his first four outings, going 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA, and setting a major league record with 41 strikeouts.
It seems that almost every pitcher he has faced in his first 20 days has brought their “A” game and you would expect nothing less than the same from veteran Tim Hudson.
This will also be a chance for the rest of the country to see Strasburg pitch, and maybe, even some for the first time (hard to believe).
Former major leaguer and ESPN commentator Doug Glanville, who played at one time under Jim Riggleman with the Chicago Cubs, has been extremely impressed with Strasburg in the early going.
“He has a poise about him. That is where I go to first,” Glanville said. “Sure, I have seen electric arms, I have seen great curve balls. You see guys that do a lot of things. The ability to sustain it is the real question.
“He just has a confidence and calmness about him that is sort of unusual for someone his age. Jason Heyward probably is in that bucket too with Atlanta.”
Many have anticipated the first of several Strasburg vs. Heyward matchups. They are expected to see a ton of each other in the N.L. East in the many years to come.
It might not be the true test this first meeting because Heyward has a bruised thumb and has been in a slump that has dragged on for almost a month. Heyward missed two games against the Tigers over the weekend and is batting .251.
Glanville says Strasburg, like Heyward, has a “presence about him. It is a glimpse into the next generation of ballplayers. There are a lot of 20-year olds like the Cubs’ Starling Castro and the Indians’ Carlos Santana that are examples of that. There are so many players that are coming onto the scene at a young age.
“(Strasburg) just has an aura about him that is impressive, aside from his 98 mile per hour fast ball and electric secondary pitches.”
Glanville has a new book out called “The Game From Where I Stand”. It is a great read on being in the game and what an everyday ballplayer goes through during the season and his career, whether he is a hot shot rookie or a wily veteran hanging on to better days. Be sure to check it out.