Strasburg’s encore

I hate Cleveland.

I do. The city, the sports teams and the atmosphere. It is weird, a little dumpy and just plain weird.

Progressive Field isn;t bad, but still its weird. Nonetheless I along with my brother Zach, and good friends Eric and Andrew ventured up to the ‘mistake on the lake’ for a Sunday game between the Indians and Nationals.

 

strasburgday1.jpgNow something really has to be happening to get me to go to Cleveland for this irrelevant ballgame. A 21 year old pitcher named Stephen Strasburg made me do it!

sday2.jpgWe were excited to see the baseball world turn their heads on to Cleveland to see if Strasburg could provide and encore performance to last Tuesday’s 14 strikeout spectacle against the Pirates. Going only 5.1 innings, walking five and striking out eight wasn’t exactly the powerful performance we were hoping for but shoot any team’s fans would take an outing like that from their starting pitcher.

Strasburg started out the game masterfully. These numbers were common on the speed gun.

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Thumbnail image for sday5.jpg
We counted a grand number of seven times where Strasburg hit 100 up on the board. Whew, blew all 32,976 of us in attendance away. The crowd was very into catching a glimpse of the pitching prodigy.

sday6.jpgThere hasn’t been a crowd this big to watch a young pitcher since Henry Rowengartner made his debut with the Cubs. The Indians even went as fas as selling Strasburg gear inside the park’s souvineer stands.

sday7.jpgHowever, not all Clevelnaders took kindly to the rookie. Now Andrew, Zach and myself were cheering for the Nationals and Strasburg, the other in our group was not. Eric is not that big into baseball but knows how to have a good time at the ballpark. When Strasburg first walked out of the dugout he began an “Overated” chant. He also was ragging on Strasburg the entire day hoping to see the Indians light him up. He wasn’t alone. While there were many Nats fans in the park, many made the trip from the DC-Virginia area, most people were quick to boo Strasburg. There were three seperate occasions where boos were thrown down from the Progessive Field rafters. Twice he requested the mound be looked at forcing groundscrew to touch up his footing area and he was booed loudly as we was taken out of the game in the fifth inninng.

There were many memories made this game with a majority occuring before the game actually started. Seeing Strasburg warm up was a novelty in itself but on top of that we saw and met many cool people.

sday8.jpgNumber 25 there is Stetson Allie. Former pitcher of St. Edwards High School in Cleveland. Why do I care about Stetson Allie you ask. Well he just so happened to be the second round pick of the Pirates in last week’s draft. His high school team was being honored pre-game for winning the Ohio State Championship. I’m tol he is a hard throwing righty but has control issues, a younger Strasburg perhaps? I hope the Pirates offer him a lucrative deal and he signs. I shouted a “Let’s Go Bucs!” to him and he seemed a little creeeped out.

 

sday9.jpgThe national spotlight was still on Strasburg for start number two and ESPN was well represented. Field reporter Pedro Gomez wa son the field pre game trying to avoid our obnoxious calls to him. After he was filming he posed for pictures with all four of us. We were the original spotters, after our pics a throng came down to the field level forcing Pedro to retreat to the dugout. So thanks Mr. Gomez, I hope we made your trip to Cleveland fun as well.

You may be able to tell that I am wearing a San Diego State shirt. It was in honor of Strasburg who went to school there. The only guy in the park to notice it and give me kudos on it was Pete from clevelandfrowns.com. He was a nice guy and was great to have a ten minute conversation with. If you are a Cleveland fan it is a cool blog site to check out.

Andrew also took part in honoring the past in noteable fashion. Rocking the Expos hat he was very vintage in showing he was a die-hard fan of the Nationals franchise (even though he lives and breathes the Yankees.) He also bit the bullet and purchased a Strasburg T-shirt.

 

sday10.jpgWhile I was pretty much happy all day this pair of pictures really brought a smile to my face.

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And they said Lastings wasn’t loved in Washington. This guy is keeping the funk alive rocking his Milledge jersey.

 

 

 

 

 


 

And if that isn’t a sight for sore eyes in Cleveland I do not know what is. Peeking out on the railing is indeed an Andrew McCutchen jersey and Pirates hat. Just beautiful. I never like to wear an obscure team clothing item to the park when that team isn’t playing but that guy obviously doesn’t follow my rules and I’m frankly okay with it. It was refreshing.

I say farewell on that note. The Pirates lost 4-3 today. My freind Erin was keeping me up to date with all that was happening via text. We were swept by the Tigers as Octavio Dotel gave up a three run home run to Miguel Cabrera. Despite that frustration I will be back at my home, PNC Park on Tuesday as the Bucs host the White Sox. Even though teh Pirates struggle through it, I love interleague play!


7 Comments

Stephen Strasburg is just on a roll and continues to amaze baseball fans across the country. His stuff is just unbelieveable. 100 MPH? Really?! Great pictures and thanks for sharing! P.S. High five for wearing a SDSU shirt! :)
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

Matt,
Sorry the pilgrimage to “The Jake” (can’t call it Progressive) was not up to par. It is actually one of my favorite ballparks because of the concourse where you walk into the stadium, then usually walk down into the seating bowl to your seat…And do not get me started on the awesome Leftfield seats and the drum beats.
But it is about the game, and was hoping Sir Starsburg was going to lay a big turkey egg, but he left me with egg on my face instead. I know the 90 mph curveball is making more than a few MLB Umpire quake knowing if the catcher misses that pitch, they will have a broken little piggie on their foot.
But Strasburg lived up to the hype, the pressure and gave the fans what they needed to see in Cleveland…excitement. Well, at least for one game.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Matt,
that is wonderful that you guys made the trip to watch Stratburg! and I noticed your shirt on the first pic and the soccer shirt and the Expo’s hat. Very cool! I am looking forward to the Nats coming to Dodger Stadium
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

So I guess you don’t like Cleveland…Huh? LOL. I’m still not going to let that affect me planning a road trip there. Pretty funny though. Now that Strasburg had trouble with the mound…everyone is complaining about the Cleveland mound…namely the Mets in town for a series. Great job by you guys and Gomez on the pic!!
mike
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

He had a great game in front of Mr President and his team the ChiSox. 32 Ks already! He’s on a roll my goodness and definitely putting the Nat’s on the map. Impressive indeed!

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

Now the rest of the nation knows what we in S.D. have known for several years now! Stephen pitched against our neighborhood’s teams several times when he was an “above average” pitcher, but watching this young man develop into a SUPERB pitcher has been an experience I wouldn’t trade. I’ve traveled out of state a couple of times to see him pitch over the last couple of years, but still have yet to see him live in the Major Leagues! Every start he has had I watched on Extra Innings live or TiVo, but they’ve all been Eastern time zone games, so I can’t wait until he makes a start out here on the West Coast again. I absolutely love that you wore the Aztecs shirt!

http://behindblueyes.mlblogs.com

As far as having to buy a Strasburg T-shirt…it was like my brother told me when I bought MINE at the Reds game earlier this month: “You HAD to go there.” (Then last Saturday, while I was at the White Sox game, I bought ANOTHER one…”Welcome to the Show”. I’m wearing that one NEXT Saturday when I watch Double-S mow down the Mets.)
Think I said once I saw Strasburg make his pro start (for Harrisburg) back in April at Altoona. There’s guys in Altoona who CAN play; it’s only that the Pirates’ front office/ownership is a travesty. I think you’ll agree with me on THAT one…lol
Anyway, great pictures.
Gary
http://go-nasty-nats.mlblogs.com
http://twitter.com/gonastynats

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