We're through four innings at Nationals Park, and while the Royals are pecking away at Stephen Strasburg with some bloop hits, they haven't touched the rookie for a run yet. And he's struck out seven batters in four innings.
Strasburg has left some fastballs up, but he's also shown how effective he can be at getting out of a jam. Case in point: In the second inning, he gave up two hits and got behind Chris Getz 3-0. Strasburg responded with a 97-mph fastball for a strike, then threw one on the outside half that Getz popped up off the end of his bat for the third out. He understands how to pitch, and is pumping strikes over the plate today - 47 of his 58 pitches have been strikes.
He also got his first hit in the third inning, punching a single between the shortstop and third baseman. That drew a bigger roar from the Nationals Park crowd than almost anything Strasburg has done on the mound - except maybe the 82-mph slider he threw to freeze pitcher Brian Bannister for his third strikeout of the fourth inning.
Seriously, kid. It's an AL pitcher. Take it easy.