Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nats pick wins his minors debut

ALTOONA, Pa. — Wherever Stephen Strasburg's formidable right arm eventually takes him, record books — well, databases on the Web — will forever show his first professional win came April 11, 2010, in his minor-league debut.

He consistently threw in the 97-98 mph range over his five innings Sunday, allowing four runs — one earned — and four hits, striking out eight batters for the Harrisburg Senators, the Nationals' Double-A club.

"I'm just another guy on this team," Strasburg said after pitching against the Altoona Curve.

Not really. Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in June's amateur draft, signed a record $15.1 million, four-year contract in August, and his minors debut was aired on ESPNews.

"Guys wanted to face him. Everybody's like, 'We want to see what this guy's about,' " said Altoona C Kris Watts, who walked twice.

With all eyes on him and a more-than-capacity-crowd of 7,887 in attendance, Strasburg threw 82 pitches Sunday and helping Harrisburg beat Altoona 6-4.

"I definitely was super-excited," Strasburg said in a monotone delivery that conveyed anything but excitement. "There was a lot of anticipation for this outing."

For good measure, he delivered an RBI double in Harrisburg's three-run fifth inning for his first professional hit. He never got to bat in college and took a postgame dig at his San Diego State coach, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, saying: "I'm going to call Gwynn up tomorrow and let him have it."

Strasburg's first inning got a little rough with two outs, when he allowed a double off the base of the wall in right-center, followed by an RBI single to center.

After a walk, Strasburg ended the inning with a strikeout on a 97 mph fastball. He threw 24 pitches in the inning, 14 for strikes.

Not exactly living up to all the hype and hoopla, attention that prompted Harrisburg teammate Adam Fox to joke in the clubhouse beforehand: "It's a national holiday today. It's Stephen Strasburg Day."

Bonds on Mac: Former Giants slugger Barry Bonds said he is "proud" of Mark McGwire for returning to baseball as the Cardinals' hitting coach and for admitting his use of performance-enhancing drugs. "I'm proud of what he did. I'm happy for him," said Bonds, who has long denied ever knowingly using performance-enhancers in capturing the career home run record. McGwire's response when told of Bonds' comments. "It's very cool." Bonds, 45, says it's too soon to formally retire, though he has not played since 2007.

Benard admits ster0id use: Former Giants OF Marvin Benard admitted he used steroids during the team's 2002 World Series season to deal with a nagging knee injury. Benard, like Barry Bonds, was in the San Francisco bay area for a reunion of the 2000 NL West champion team. "At the time you think you're doing the right thing for the right reason, then you realize you made a mistake and it's too late and you can't take it back," he said.

Aurilia retires: Rich Aurilia, 38, formally announced his retirement after 15 major-league seasons. The infielder started and ended his career with the Giants, spending 12 years total in San Francisco. Team president Larry Baer said he is making plans to honor Aurilia as a candidate for a spot on the Giants' Wall of Fame.

Red Sox: LF Jacoby Ellsbury was helped off the field after colliding with 3B Adrian Beltre in the ninth inning of Boston's 8-6 win vs. the Royals. Ellsbury and Beltre were chasing a foul fly when they ran into each other. Ellsbury, who said he was kneed in the ribs, isn't sure if he can play today at Minnesota. Preliminary X-rays showed no major break in any bones.

Nats pick wins his minors debut 04/11/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 12, 2010 7:21am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs-Bills journal: Breakout game for Bucs tight end O.J. Howard


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It's obscured by the final score and a disappointing loss, but Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard had a breakout game Sunday, exceeding his season totals for catches and touchdowns in one afternoon.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) celebrates a touchdown catch with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Vladislav Namestnikov is Lightning's top-line 'secret'

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov is piling up the goals. Steven Stamkos is an assist machine. They make for an impressive pairing in a league that favors scoring pairs over the more traditional three-player scoring lines.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Vladislav Namestnikov (90) reacts after scoring during the third period of the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.
  3. Ex-Lightning forward Brian Boyle returns to practice after cancer diagnosis

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — Brian Boyle, diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia last month, was back on the ice with his Devils teammates Sunday after getting cleared to practice for the first time since his diagnosis.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]
  4. Bucs-Bills report card: Grading the Bucs' 30-27 loss at Buffalo


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Hard to believe, but this was only the second time in their history that the Bucs played a regular-season game in Buffalo. After Sunday loss, they wouldn't mind going another 40 years without playing here again.

    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs-Bills: Social media reactions to the Bucs' 30-27 loss


    Here's a sampling of reactions from the media and fans to the Bucs' 30-27 loss Sunday at Buffalo:

    Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka (4) is mobbed by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]