Cleveland, a city that knows something about watching a budding superstar, is eager for the arrival of Stephen Strasburg.
Few athletes have captured a town the way the Cavaliers’ LeBron James has enthralled Cleveland. Today, many of his fans will line up to see Strasburg, the Washington Nationals’ hard-throwing phenom, when he takes the mound against the Indians.
“I watched him on TV on Tuesday night, and he was incredible,” said Lou Perrizone, who drove about 85 miles from his Rossford home in northwestern Ohio on Saturday to buy tickets a day early. “But I’m an Indians fan. I want to see them beat him.
“Years from now, this ticket stub could be special — the first loss by a Hall of Famer.”
All the hype, and Strasburg has made only one start.
The first pick in the 2009 draft struck out 14 and walked none over seven innings to win his major league debut, 5-2, over Pittsburgh.
Indians first-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr., a former catcher, was impressed by what he saw on TV, but he cautioned: “His stuff is the real deal, but let’s not make this Elvis coming back from the dead.”
Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo said that Strasburg reminds him of Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
“Both have a big fastball and a big curve,” Choo said. “You have to really focus. … With Verlander and this guy, you swing for the fastball and he throws that curve, you can look a little funny. I don’t want to look funny.”
Texas placed right-hander Rich Harden on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left gluteus muscle. The Rangers called up right-hander Alexi Ogando from Triple-A Oklahoma. … The Tampa Bay Rays placed outfielder Gabe Kapler on the 15-day DL with a strained right hip flexor and recalled outfielder Justin Ruggiano from Triple-A Durham. … Veteran pitcher Jeff Suppan is expected to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals.