Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One last word on Stephen Strasburg...

It is a simplistic and misleading argument to suggest that a Nationals team with an active Stephen Strasburg triumphs over the Cardinals.

The Washington Nationals lost their playoff series to the St. Louis Cardinals because:

1)  One of their best pitchers during the regular season, Jordan Zimmermann, was blasted in Game 2.  Whether or not Stephen Strasburg was available for the series, Zimmermann was always going to get a start.

2)  Their offense was shut out in Game 3.  (Perhaps Strasburg could have supplied some offense?)

3)  Their bullpen allowed seven runs in five innings in Game 2, four runs in four innings in Game 3, and six runs in four innings in Game 5.  (Note that Strasburg would have likely pitched only six innings in his start at the most, necessitating a relief effort.)

4)  Their closer was on the mound with two outs, two strikes, and a two-run lead -- and this is a place where any team would want to be, one strike away from advancing.  (Besides, it was inexcusable for the Nats to choose not to intentionally walk Pete Kozma with pitcher Jason Motte waiting on deck, thus keeping the score tied 7-7 en route to the bottom of the ninth.)

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