Strasburg’s “Achilles Heel”

I’ve mentioned this before, but we continue to see how Stephen Strasburg can become rattled and loose his focus when events occur during games (errors by his teammates for example, or a plate umpire with a strike zone not to Stephen’s liking).  Last night in the 3rd inning Jason Werth dropped a routine fly ball in foul territory that would have been the third out.  Right after that Stephen threw a fastball right across the middle of home plate to a good hitter, Marlon Byrd, who hit it for a 3-run homer.

Those were the only runs Strasburg gave up in his 6 or 7 inning stint, so he was able to settle himself down after the home run.  My point is these episodes seem to affect Stephen’s pitching more than they do most pitchers.  I’m sure the Nats coachs are trying to work with him to increase his ability to stay focused on “grinding” through opposing team’s lineups while tuning out adverse events that are not under Stephen’s control.

Interesting footnotes:

1.  Former Nat (a very popular one!) Mikey Morse (“The Beast”) hit the game winning home run as the Giants beat our nemesis, the Atlanta Braves.  That was the Braves 4th straight loss!

2.  Another former Nat, Steve Lombardozzi, hitting .292 for the Orioles was sent down to AAA in order to make room for star third baseman Manny Machado as he came back from injury to play yesterday for the first time in 2014.  There were other Orioles that in my opinion should have been sent down instead of Lombo.  Note to Mike Rizzo: Get Lombo BACK!

Zach Says I Ain’t Going Back to Syracuse!

With two four-baggers in his first two major league games Zach Walters is making a statement with his bat.  His pinch-hit blast in the 8th inning last night (April 16—my birthday) was the icing on the cake of the fifth come-from-behind win for the Nats of the young 2014 season.  And it was a no-doubter; hitting half way up the tall foul pole!  Zach explained in the after-game interview with Dan Kolko that he and the pitcher he hit it off (Mike Dunn) played on the same team in high school 🙂

I think Zach has a good chance now of sticking on the 25-man roster for a while.  It doesn’t hurt that he and Matt Williams have a history going back to when both were in the Arizona Diamondback’s system.

In the “Ex-Nats News Department” I watched local guy Steve Lombardozzi (from Columbia, Md) play with the Orioles yesterday.  He got a base hit and has been starting at 2B a lot this year, due to Manny Machado’s injury.  Steve is hitting .298 so far.