For some Nats fans, Thursday's big game wasn't in Florida -- certainly not after the beating their pitchers took from the Tigers' bats -- but in San Diego. Stephen Strasburg, the Nats' likely No. 1 overall pick, pitched. And, man, did he ever pitch.
Strasburg's San Diego State team took on the 11th-ranked University of San Diego, which is the fish taco version of Yankees/Red Sox.
Double S carved up USD's batters, striking out 18 of 'em in just eight innings of work. One after another, batters came to the plate, unable to do anything with his pitches. (Box Score)
That's his third win in three starts, and he's racked up 45 strikeouts in just 20 1/3 innings. He's a man among boys.
The biggest concern at this point is his workload. But there's some hope there.
He pitches just once a week, usually the first game of a weekend series. And he's managed by Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn, who recognizes the special talent he's working with.
Even with all those strikeouts, Gwynn limited him to around 120 pitches. While that's high in general, compared to the pitch counts many college pitchers rack up, it's practically babying.
The draft is June 9, and as long as his arm's attached by at least one major tendon, he'll be the guy the Nats pick.
And hopefully, the Cy Youngs will follow.
Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment. He's glad he doesn't have to pay for Strasburg's contract.