An appreciation for Strasburg’s stunning first-half run

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg’s first-half run is unprecedented in his career. The 12-0 start continues to be the best start of any season for the former No. 1 overall selection from San Diego State.

He already has more wins than he had last season. In 2015, he went 11-7 in 23 starts.

In 16 starts this season, he is 12-0.

The day after he was announced as making the All-Star Game, Strasburg talked about his season to date. He spoke about how he is concentrating on his pitching and not letting outside influences slow him down.

Stephen-Strasburg-home-whites-Sidebar.png“I’m just trying to do what I can and give it everything I have on the days I pitch and deal with the results, whatever they may be,” Strasburg said. “Just going to continue to do that.”

His personal winning streak has reached 15 games, which dates to Sept. 15, 2015. The 15-game streak is a franchise best.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Strasburg is the fourth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to go 12-0 or better before the All-Star break, matching Orioles left-hander Dave McNally (13-0 in 1969), Pirates right-hander Roy Face (12-0 in 1959) and Reds right-hander Brooks Lawrence (12-0 in 1956).

He is on track to shatter his previous career seasons. He had 15 wins in 2012 and notched 14 victories in 2014.

The announcement has been made that Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer will replace Strasburg in the All-Star Game. By not pitching in the game, Strasburg will get extra time to rest his minor back soreness, which was part of reason he was on disabled list in June.

This will give Strasburg at least seven days before his next start. Coupled with Scherzer’s outstanding 6-1 win Saturday, the Nationals have that one-two punch they need to put away the Mets in the second half of the season and, more importantly, finally win a playoff series.

But this is about the appreciation of what Strasburg has accomplished in an amazing first half of the season. He’s 12-0 with a 2.62 ERA with 132 strikeouts plus a steely resolve that shows he is not rattled so far this season with any scenario, and that is something that will make Strasburg difficult to beat over the next couple of months.

When mentioning other pitchers that could start for the National League in the All-Star game, manager Dusty Baker said there are a lot of “bad dudes” that Mets manager Terry Collins could choose from to complete the team. Although Strasburg won’t be one of those pitchers this time out of precaution, he could very well be the “bad dude” that guides the Nationals back to the East division crown at the end of 2016.

Programming note: Check “Nats Insider” on 106.7 The Fan today from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for more on Sunday’s game against the Mets.

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