Ozzie Guillen, the outspoken manager of the Chicago White Sox, held nothing back while praising Nationals’ phenom Stephen Strasburg following Friday night’s game. Though his team managed to take a run from Strasburg early, their bats fell silent for the next nine innings. Through seven of those innings, Strasburg allowed just that one run and struck out 10. Perhaps even more impressive, he threw only 85 pitches.
“You don’t see kids, no matter how good of stuff you have, to have that confidence and be very, very comfortable. [The] confidence on the mound, you don’t find that everywhere, every day,” Guillen said.
Guillen also praised Strasburg’s ability to handle the pressure and credited catcher Ivan Rodriguez for his important role in Strasburg’s brilliant outings.
“One thing he’s got in his favor, he throws strikes. When you’ve got that kind of arm, you throw those pitches for strikes. He’s going to be a top pitcher, no matter what. I think he’s maybe the best pitcher in the National League,” he said.
He went on to compare Strasburg to other superstar pitchers like Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum and Johan Santana.
Beyond witnessing Strasmania first-hand, Guillen was happy to finally visit Nationals Park and to have President Obama at the game wearing his White Sox cap. The White Sox last played Washington in 1971. It was their first trip to Nationals Park.
“It’s nice to come to this ballpark and face this kid [with] a lot of people in the stands, [our] first time in D.C. They’ve got a good ballclub. They’ve got a good lineup, they’ve got a lot of speed, they have power in the middle. I like the lineup a lot.”
The Nationals will send J.D. Martin to the mound on Saturday afternoon against Jake Peavy for a 4:10 p.m. start. The game will be televised on Fox and not available on MASN.