8:21 PM — Jason Bergmann is getting loose and getting loose with a purpose…
8:20 PM — The Syracuse bullpen is active…again, Strasburg has used just 52 pitches through five. A bit curious.
8:18 PM — Strasburg has needed just 52 pitches to get through five innings of work; 36 of them for strikes. We’re still tied, 2-2. It’s amazing how efficient he is. Here it is, try and hit it…they do, and it’s gone so-so for Toledo tonight.
8:10 PM — Here are some more photos…
8:05 PM — Strasburg is through four: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. His ERA has skyrocketed to 0.40
7:59 PM — Tell you what, Jeff Frazier’s got Strasburg figured out…he’s 2-for-2 off of him, including a clean double down the left field line in T4. And now Casper Wells with a single through the hole up the left side and Strasburg’s not up for the win or the loss right now, it’s 2-2. That’s the first earned run he’s allowed in AAA.
7:58 PM — Strikeout for Strasburg, his third of the night…he’s through three and a third.
7:55 PM — After Syracuse manager Trent Jewett and Kevin Mench were both ejected, Strasburg faced Carlos Guillen to lead off the fourth inning…he blew a 98 MPH fastball by him, but Guillen singled to right on the next pitch. That’s three hits allowed by Strasburg through 3+
7:45 PM — Videos now posted…
7:41 PM — Scram scores on a passed ball…as of now, an unearned run. 1-1 game, T3.
7:40 PM — Strasburg’s first pitch to Deik Scram was 98 MPH…but Scram tripled down the right field line. Nice play on Will Rhymes by Eric Bruntlett to stop Scram from scoring on a 97 MPH fastball that was hit hard to second. Videos soon…
7:35 PM — A few photos…I will have tons more.
7:30 PM — Was down on the field doing a ton of photos and video. Strasburg is through 2 innings…have seen him as high as 98 MPH on the radar gun. He had an easy first inning — two first pitch outs and a looking K — but Jeff Frazier’s approach paid off on the second and he got a hit off of Strasburg. Strasburg then struck out Casper Wells.
He threw 7 pitches in the first, 13 in the second. 20 pitches, 13 strikes.
5:15 PM — I spoke to Jeff Frazier, Chris Duncan, Ron Villone and Eric Bruntlett about Strasburg…I’ll update this as I can.
“We’ve been talking about it a little bit. Obviously, it’s a big deal with the publicity that he’s been getting. As a team, we’re going up there and we’re going to take the same approach we do with every other pitcher. But we understand that he throws a little harder. Just being ready and on time. We’re taking this as a fun thing. We know he’s going to be a good player in the future, so for us to get a chance to face him, and see really how good he is and all the hype, we’re excited about it. We’ve been talking about it for the past two days since we found out. As hitters, we’ve been talking, and we’re ready to go.”
“We’re actually pretty excited about the fact that there’s going to be a nice, big crowd here. We’re not used to that on a Monday night, so that’s something to look forward to. The cameras, too…that’s something also that’s big time. Like you said, there’s going to be a bunch of scouts, too. And we’re going to take that as if it’s another way for us to show off our ability facing off the caliber of a pitcher that he is.”
“We faced the guy from Cincinnati, Chapman. We faced him at home our opening series, the crowd was rockin’, and we were at home for that. We understood the hype of him hitting 101, which he was hitting that day. We know (Strasburg) is capable of putting the ball up there too. It’s not that we’re not used to it, it’s just a Monday night with a little more excitement. That gets us up for the game a little bit more.”
“It’s a big difference (from 90-92 to 100-102). You see the difference. 92 to 94, that’s all about the same. But once you start getting up in the 95 mark, it’s a different velocity coming in. If you’re not ready, it’ll be by you.”
“The adjustment would be just getting your foot down earlier, as a hitter. And being ready to hit. You’ve got a split second to make up your mind, and if you take that split second and you’re thinking about it, before you know it, it’s strike one. You’ve got to bring your A game, and I’m sure he’s going to bring his A game. If we don’t, he’ll get the best, but if we come out to play and we bring our A game, we’ll see what happens.”
“He’s a great guy. He’s real quiet. He goes about his business the right way, he’s a real professional. We’re lucky to have him, it’s been fun watching him pitch.”
“He’s got a great fastball that has a lot of movement. He’s a got a plus curveball and a plus changeup, and he’s able to locate. He’s got a mean streak in him, and he’s a real competitor on the mound. When you put together all of those things, you’ve got a real quality pitcher.”
“I don’t really think anyone’s really thought about that, but that’s a good point. I’m sure there are a lot of people to watch him play, and it’s a good chance for people to get out and see our team play. We have a lot of good players, and it’s been a lot of fun to see the excitement around the team.”
“I think he has a pretty good idea of what he wants to do with his ideas with pitching. His pitches are very above average. He’s got command of all his pitches, and he’s got a pretty good head on his shoulders. He’s still young, and he knows he has a lot to learn still. But his development is probably well beyond most guys for 21 years old.”
“I wouldn’t say I’ve mentored him at all, that’s part of being here. Everybody’s younger than me, so if it falls into that mentoring category, I’ll share. Some of these guys share with me. I haven’t seen some of these guys who were maybe in Double-A last year, so we’ll throw out ideas and questions off of each other. You’ve got to do that if you’re willing to learn. I think that’s what we’re all here for.”
“If you look at it that way, sure. You just have to be at the right spot in the right time sometimes. If somebody else notices you, that’s part of the game, too.”
“He throws high 90’s with good movement on it, and he commands the ball well. He’s got exceptional secondary pitches, too. He has a great curveball and he’s also got a good changeup. Physical-wise, stuff-wise, tools-wise, whatever you want to call it, he’s got everything you could possibly need.”
“(The changeup) has the action of kind of a split finger or hard two-seamer. It’s high 80’s, low 90’s, so it’s still coming in there pretty good. It’s got a lot of movement to it. I haven’t seen it trying to hit, but the guys that do say it’s really good. It’s a really good pitch.”
“There’s a huge difference between (90-92 and 100-102). It’s a big leap. You see guys in the 90-92 range, and you see a lot of those…I’m not going to say it’s a comfort level, but you can see it and we’re kind of used to that range. You start getting over 95, and it’s a whole different ballgame.”
“As a hitter, you have to start earlier. That’s a good question. So far, he’s thrown a lot of fastballs, so I think you just go up there and try to hit the fastball and hope it’s up and out away from you. The ball’s moving so much, that would be it. The fact is, you’re probably not going to do that well against him. He’s that good.”
“I know we have to talk to a lot of guys like you. (Laughs) It’s OK, you’re just doing your job. But that’s the biggest thing, the attention from everybody. Media and fans are coming out to games, and that’s the biggest difference. Thatg and we have a chance to win the game, too. The games go by faster, so that’s nice.”
3:35 PM — Lineups are in, kids…
Will Rhymes, 3B
Scott Sizemore, DH
Carlos Guillen, 2B
Ryan Strieby, 1B
Jeff Frazier, LF
Casper Wells, CF
Brent Dlugach, SS
Deik Scram, RF
Robinzon Diaz, C
L.J. Gagnier, P
Pete Orr, CF
Leonard Davis, LF
Kevin Mench, RF
Josh Whitesell, 1B
Chase Lambin, 3B
Chris Duncan, DH
Pedro Lopez, SS
Eric Bruntlett, 2B
Devin Ivany, C
Stephen Strasburg, P
3:30 PM — So, just as a reminder, here’s what Strasburg has done since leaving the Eastern League to head up to Triple-A…
3 starts, 18.1 IP, 3-0, 4 H, 4 BB, 22 K.
Filthy. It’s not even a story when he pitches lights out anymore, it would only be a story if he got hit around a little bit. You look at the numbers from those last three starts and yeah…don’t expect a lot of news to come out of here tonight.
3:00 PM — So yes, I’m the Trenton Thunder beat writer covering a Stephen Strasburg start. I get that. Some of you won’t care. But some of you will. And really, until my Strasburg piece runs in the paper, you won’t have anywhere else to read my Strasburg coverage than right here.
But anyway, I’m writing live from the Alliance Bank Stadium press box here in Syracuse, NY. It’s your pretty non-descript Triple-A ballpark…but tonight, it transforms into arguably the center of the baseball world for one more night for L.J. Gagnier’s start for Toledo! Or…uhhh, Carlos Guillen’s rehab appearances for the Mud Hens! No? Some guy named Strasburg? All right.
Anyway, I’ll have the updates I’m able to provide during the game right here. I, of course, hope to speak to Strasburg after the game and hope to have his comments available here as well.
But check this post for continuous updates from Syracuse, NY…where Strasburg looks to improve to 4-0 in Triple-A. He’s yet to allow an earned run for the Chiefs…will that streak continue tonight?
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com