I assume everyone's going to the ballpark Tuesday to see Stephen Strasburg pitch, right?
I've got my ticket.
Reports indicate Strasburg will be limited to five innings or 80 pitches, which means we're unlikely to see any 14-strikeout, no-walks craziness on the second coming. But hey, you never know. If he keeps his pitch count low enough, five innings provides 15 outs to work with.
If Strasburg strikes out just a handful of batters, it will be OK with me. Even a no strikeout game would be okay, because for this fan, Tuesday will be about cheering for Stephen as he completes his journey back to a major league ballpark. I'm sure it's been a very long year for him.
Well, maybe I want to see a few Ks on the scoreboard.
Last year, it was pretty fun to watch Strasburg mow them down. His combination of heat and control provided useful mental images for visualizing a team that wins more games. Plus, there's something quite satisfying about screaming for your pitcher to dominate. I like to think it provides a constructive outlet for my aggressive side.
Beyond cheering for Strasburg's comeback and dominance, I'm rooting for him because he wasn't always great.
I love the stories about how he arrived at San Diego State University out of shape and poised to fail before being provoked to dig in and realize his potential. Tagged with the nickname "Slothburg," he worked hard to prove his Aztecs strength coach wrong, but the important lesson is about a young man deciding to be better and then making it happen. I may throw like a girl, but Strasburg is still an inspiration.
Welcome back, Stephen! I'll be cheering for you Tuesday.
Jenn Jenson blogs about the Nationals at Nationals Fangirl and has joined MASNsports.com's initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our pages. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.