Stephen Strasburg walked into the postgame interview room with a big ice pack on his right shoulder and another a few inches down on the elbow. Cool at last after a blazing start in Triple-A.
“I’m just trying to get my feet wet,” he said Friday night after notching a victory in his debut with the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. “I’ve got six starts under my belt. I’m starting to get comfortable.”
If one outing at this level can serve as a barometer, Strasburg will have a short stay in Syracuse.
The top pick in the 2009 draft by the Washington Nationals, Strasburg, 21, allowed just one hit and no runs in six innings. He threw 65 pitches, 45 for strikes, against the Gwinnett Braves, striking out six and walking one.
He also drove in two runs – one with a single on the first pitch to him in the game and the other on a sacrifice – and departed with a 3-0 lead. Pete Orr added a solo homer in the seventh and the Chiefs won, 7-0, in Syracuse, N.Y.
Before moving to the top level of the minor leagues, Strasburg went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts with Double-A Harrisburg. He struck out an Eastern League-high 27, allowed 13 hits, and walked six in 22 innings. He ranked first in the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio and strikeouts per nine innings.
His performance against the Braves lowered his earned-run average to 1.29 in six starts in the minors.
“I felt pretty good,” Strasburg said. “I’m just trying to build on what I learned at Harrisburg, trying to do it up here.”
3 HOMERS IN 4 AT-BATS
Vladimir Guerrero is quickly hitting home runs for the Texas Rangers.
Guerrero led off the second inning Friday night against Kansas City with a homer to left field on the first pitch he got from reigning AL Cy Young winner Zack Grienke. It was Guerrero’s third consecutive at-bat with a home run, a span during which he saw only four pitches. The Rangers won, 4-1.
Guerrero hit go-ahead homers in each of his last two at-bats Thursday night against the Royals.
Guerrero has six homers this season.
4-EYES MCCANN BACK
Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann is going back to eyeglasses despite having laser surgery in the offseason to correct his vision.
McCann has been out of Atlanta’s lineup the past two games because he’s been experiencing vision problems in his right eye.
He’ll play with glasses today against the Phillies in Philadelphia.
A four-time All-Star, McCann is batting .243 with two homers and nine RBI.
A Los Angeles court commissioner has ordered Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to pay his estranged wife $225,000 a month in temporary spousal support in a bitter divorce case. Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon said in a 55-page ruling that Jamie McCourt would receive $225,000 a month in spousal support and Frank McCourt will pay $412,159 a month to maintain the couple’s six homes and a condominium. Jamie McCourt had been seeking nearly $1 million a month; her husband had offered her $150,000. … Justin Duchscherer’s inflamed left hip is much better following a cortisone shot Wednesday, yet the two-time All-Star has been placed on the disabled list by the Oakland Athletics considering he’s not yet ready to pitch.