Think of anything in the last 50 years or so, pop- or sports-culture related. "Fernando-mania", for example. Or Willis Reed coming out of the tunnel @ Madison Square Garden. Or even the Beatles playing Shea Stadium in '65. How about Live-Aid? I'm sure I can come up with others, if I had time.
No matter. Last night, Stephen Strasburg blew all of those out of the water. If this is what Game 7 of a World Series feels like, maybe my vision of a World Series in Washington by 2013 can be a reality. Truth be told, it's a miracle anybody could hear themselves last night.
7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB...and 14 K's!!! That's the line on Stephen Strasburg from the game. Giving up the 2-run HR to Delwyn Young would've rattled any young pitcher. Not Double-S, though. All he does, is get the next 10 Pirate batters out...7 by strikeout!!
And while that's going on, Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham smack some jacks to stake Strasburg a 4-2 lead. (The final score, BTW, was 5-2 Nationals.) But at this stage, it wouldn't have mattered--the crowd came to see a conquering hero on the mound.
In my MLBlog (http://go-nasty-nats.mlblogs.com) yesterday, I mentioned that this wasn't hype. After all, Strasburg was 1 strikeout away from tying the record for most K's by a pitcher making his debut (15, last set by J.R. Richard of the Astros in September of '71). Believe me, for those of you too young to know who J.R. Richard was...rest assured, that hombre could pitch! He was Nolan Ryan before Nolan Ryan got good. Talk about fire coming out of the tailpipe...yeah, THAT damned good!!
Stephen Strasburg, makes J.R. Richard look like a poser. Anybody who watched the game (whether it was MASN2 or MLB Network), might want to agree--or disagree--with me on that.
Now the traveling road show pitches its tent in Cleveland on Sunday. Um, if you haven't gotten tickets for that game by now...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON?? You won't get another chance to see him in Cleveland for another 6 years...unless, of course, you plan on coming to Nationals Park in 2013. (I understand the game Sunday is gonna be the largest crowd the Indians will have all year--and it's mid-June already!!)
And to think I saw Strasburg make his pro debut (for Harrisburg) @ Altoona back in April. He won that one, too!! Trust me, last night Michelangelo and/or DaVinci couldn't have painted a prettier picture than Double-S did. The scary part? It's going to get better...