Another nail-biter, but a win nonetheless. Matt Chico gave the Nationals more than they expected, at the same time forcing the organization to take another long look at him. Too much pitching depth? No such thing.
On a separate note, the speculation continues to grow regarding the arrival of Stephen Strasburg to the 25-man roster. The early line has him starting one of the games in the Cincinnati series at home June 4-6, with the Pirates' series immediately following the second favorite. One fan ventured a guess that they'd wait until June's final homestand against either the Royals or White Sox.
The question is whether this rampant speculation will lead to a group sale frenzy, with ticket brokers buying up blocks of seats to every June home date. If you follow the sports collectibles market you know that there will be tickets purchased as potential keepsakes more so than entry to the game. It happens all the time. On eBay right now is someone selling unused tickets from Strasburg's first start for Harrisburg. Judging by the photo in the ad, they're $10 seats that he's selling for $15, which, in the grand scheme of things, is not a terrible markup. His big league debut? There will be tickets bought by out-of-town hobby dealers by the hundreds, I'm guessing, that will either end up on the Bay or be stored away for 20 years on the bet that Strasburg has a legendary career.
How would you like to have a ticket from Walter Johnson's first game? I know I would.
With the ballclub playing as well as it is, it would be outstanding if the next homestand - May 19-23 against the Mets and Orioles - saw a 10-15% jump in daily attendance numbers. I'm not expecting packed houses. A modest rise will at least show that someone is paying attention.