Friday, June 18, 2010
By Chuck Garfien
By now, youveheard all about him. Stephen James Strasburg...the pitcher, phenom, andbaseball messiah who tonight will once again put the weight of severalplanets on his 21-year-old shoulders, taking the mound against theWhite Sox at 6:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet.
In his first majorleague start against Pittsburgh, he struck out 14 batters in 7 inningsand got the win. In his second start at Cleveland, he struck out 8 more(walked 5),but won again. Its pretty obvious that his stuff is offthe charts, said Nationals manager Jim Riggleman.
Yeah, but hes never thrown a pitch to Gavin Floyd. Gavin, may the force be with you.
Strasburgsfastball consistently hits 99 and 100. He also has a knee-bucklingcurveball and change-up. And much to the chagrin of my people, hes notJewish. A major disappointment.
At least we have Sandy Koufax. Yes, well always have Sandy.
Sowith Baby Jesus getting set to throw his biblical stuff at the Soxtonight, Ill be here throughout the game, reporting on anything andeverything that happens. The good, the bad, or when Gavin gets in thebox...the ugly.
Well, you can forget about a Strasburg no-hitter. Juan Pierre leads off with an infield hit.
Hawk Harrelson sets a record by canceling the post-game show 30 seconds into the game.
Omar Vizquel is next with a bloop double to right. By the way, Vizquel is Strasburgs grandfather.
Other facts about the Chosen One that you may not know:
Hespeaks 46 languages. He is allergic to kryptonite. If he was in Chicagoduring that crazy storm this afternoon, he would have stopped it withone arm. His left one.
Alex Rios sends a dribbler to the rightside. Pierre scores. White Sox lead 1-0. Okay, thats it. Strasburg iscompletely overrated. Whats up with all of this hype?
(Strasburg proceeds to strikeout Konerko and Quentin to end the inning).
Okay, hes for real. Sick. Filthy. Nasty.
Sitting onthe third base side in the suite is none other than the Sox FirstFan...President Obama. Just saw him sipping a beer during thecommercial break. Hes still wearing that ratty, old Sox cap. The teamhas tried to give him a new one, but he always refuses. He likes theone hes got.
Who is operating the camera above homeplate.NASA?When a ball is hit into the outfield I feel like Im watching from aspace station.
Frank Thomas is watching the game from his home in Vegas. Asked him what he thinks of Strasburg, he texted backcomposed.
A 1-2-3 inning for Strasburg in the second. Gavin Floyd leads off in the third! Odds of him making contact: 85-to-1.
Despite the best intentions, Floyd strikes out. Pierre does too.
Strasburgreminds me of Dwight Gooden when he came into the big leagues in 1984.At just 19-years-old, he went 17-and-9 with 276 strikeouts in just 218innings. The next year, he was basically unhittable. Gooden was24-and-4 with a 1.53 ERA.
This is the Sox first game inWashington, DC since July 16, 1971. The Sox won the game 2-0...thanksin large part to my TV partner Bill Melton, who hit accounted for bothruns with a 2-run homer in the sixth innings, his 21st of the season.
Bill also committed an error at third base. Well talk more about this on the post-game show. Mainly his error.
Vizquel grounds out to second. Still 1-0 White Sox. Floyd has his A stuff tonight.
So Imreading the media game notes provided by the Washington Nationals.They also wrote about the Sox last game in DC, but mistakenly calledBill Melton Pete.
After giving up hitsto Pierre and Vizquel to start the game, Strasburg has retired 12 in arow, 7 on strikeouts. While in the dugout, Im told he is in deepdiscussions with President Obama on how to fix the oil leak in theGulf. Expect Stephen to have it all figured out by the 8th inning.
The Phillies are thumping the Twins 8-0 in the 4th inning. Just sayin.
Withall the attention on Strasburg, Floyd is matching him. Just one hitthrough 5. Hes retired 8 in a row. But thats what humans can do.
Strasburg?His 9 strikeouts give him 31, which is the most in baseball history fora pitcher in his first 3 games. He breaks the record of 29 set byformer Astros pitcher J.R. Richard.
BREAKING NEWS: Gavin Floyddoesnt just make contact off Strasburg, he just got a hit!!! Thisjust might be the greatest achievement I have seen on a baseball fieldsince Mark Buehrle homered last year at Miller Park. Floyd was 2-for-48at the plate in his career.
Meanwhile, this game is flying and Ihave a postgame show to do. Maybe this running blog wasnt such a greatidea. Melton feels neglected. Im too busy to talk to him.
Strasburghas given up two home runs in his first two starts. Im predictingsomeone gets to him next inning. Konerko or Quentin.
Still 1-0 White Sox in the 6th.
Thats itfor Strasburg. Despite a 100-pitch limit, they pull him after throwing85. He gives up 1 run over 7, finishes with 10 strikeouts and zerowalks. He really is amazing.
And I gotta get ready for the postgame show. If you have an email for Bill Melton, submit it by clicking here. Well get to as many as we can. Thanks for reading everyone!
Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.