We’ve played 2 1/2 innings at Nationals Park - despite Ted Lilly’s best efforts - and Stephen Strasburg is looking closer and closer to the same force we saw at Nationals Park last year. He’s thrown 35 pitches, 25 of them strikes, in three innings, with his fastball topping out at 99 mph and his changeup at 91. He struck out two batters in the second, dropped a sacrifice bunt, took second on an error and scored a run.
And an hour into a game that was supposed to be washed out, it’s not raining.
In short, things couldn’t be going much better for Strasburg and the Nationals than they are. He’s got 25 pitches to play with for the fourth inning, though he could lose a couple after running the bases. But his command has been there, and his stuff looks as good as you could expect for a year after Tommy John surgery. If this is the baseline for where he is after the operation, Nationals fans have every reason to be drooling about him and Jordan Zimmermann in the same rotation next year.
The Nationals are up 3-0 after scoring three on Lilly - who pitches at about the speed a dial-up modem would take to download a full-length movie - in the second inning. They’ll get one more inning out of Strasburg, and move on to Brad Peacock on what is shaping up to be quite the night at Nationals Park.