By Josh Kramer
Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s like riding a bicycle.” Meaning that picking up right where one left off will be no problem. Well last night, the long-awaited return of Washington Nationals‘ ace Stephen Strasburg hammered that point home.
So maybe Strasburg is an unusual case. But boy did he make it look easy in his first start back in the bigs since undergoing Tommy John surgery. Strasburg, arguably the most hyped pitcher in over a decade took the National League by storm last year. As a rookie, the former San Diego State Aztecs star started 12 games. And though the typical Major League starting pitcher starts over 30 games in a given season, Stephen made quite the impression.
From his memorable June 8th 14 strikeout debut, this kid became the next big thing. And rightfully so. During the course of his 12 starts, Strasburg put up a 2.91 ERA, and hurled an astounding 92 strikeouts in just 68 innings. Sadly, the flame-throwers rookie campaign was marred by injuries, culminating in a torn ulnar collateral ligament in late August, requiring the infamous Tommy John surgery.
Strasburg’s last Major League start was against the NL East Champions (Philadelphia Phillies) back on August 21st, 2010. Well over a year later, the 23-year-old appears to have not missed a beat, despite undergoing major surgery. Last night, Strasburg truly made pitching effectively in the big show look as simple as riding a bicycle.
On the night, Strasburg threw five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits, and 0 runs. In addition, he hurled four strikeouts and surrendered zero walks. Lastly, his fastball touched 99 MPH. Not too shabby of a 2011 debut for the former number one overall pick.
If only returning from major surgery and pitching effectively could be as easy as riding a bicycle for the rest of us, or the rest of the pitchers in the Major Leagues.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.