Strasburg, Nationals open season against Marlins Print
Written by Admin   
Sunday, 31 March 2013 09:40
MLB Headline News

 WASHINGTON (AP) - Stephen Strasburg is ready for his first big league season without restrictions.
Ready to go from season's start to finish.
Ready to throw as many pitches as it takes and to stay on the mound as long as possible, including into the eighth and ninth inning, something he's never done in the majors.
It all begins Monday, when All-Star ace Strasburg starts the season opener for the defending NL East champion Washington Nationals against a Miami Marlins club that traded away most of its best players, cut its payroll by more than half, starts with seven players on the disabled list and has a rookie manager in Mike Redmond.
``It's going to be a good test for me, obviously,'' Strasburg said about the chance to see what his prized - and surgically repaired - right arm can do without any limits imposed by the Nationals.
``I haven't gone over seven innings yet in my career,'' the 24-year-old Strasburg added. ``I know in the past, when I've been allowed to do that, I feel like my game's gotten better later on in the game. The hitters change their approach later in the game. It's going to be interesting to see how the game changes in the later innings when you're out there, because I still haven't experienced that yet.''
Not since college, anyway.
In 13 starts at San Diego State that lasted more than seven innings, Strasburg was 13-0 with a 0.74 ERA, according to STATS LLC.
He's been allowed to go as long as seven innings - and never more than that - a total of seven times with the Nationals, and owns a 4-0 record and 1.29 ERA in those games. The righty never pitched more than seven innings in the minors.
``Last year, I was a little quicker with the hook, because I was trying to add some games at the end. I don't feel under the gun to do that,'' said Davey Johnson, the NL Manager of the Year who says he'll retire after 2013. ``I'll go with what I think I can get out of him and not overburden him.''
Overall, Strasburg is 21-10 with a 2.94 ERA in 45 career starts in the majors since his electrifying debut. He went 15-6 with a 3.16 ERA and 197 strikeouts over 159 1-3 innings last season before being shut down because the Nationals decided he'd thrown enough for a guy who had reconstructive elbow surgery in September 2010.
``They're just going to let him be now. He's going to go out there and compete, have some fun, go out to the max, do it the way he's supposed to do it,'' said teammate Gio Gonzalez, who finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2012. ``Last year, on an innings and pitch limit, stuff like that, he still managed to get us 15 wins. So if you give that guy another month or so, or even more in the postseason, he's going to definitely get us where we need to be and hopefully keep us at the top of the division.''
While the Nationals won a majors-high 98 games last season and are touted by many - including their own manager, Davey Johnson - as a World Series favorite, the Marlins are widely expected to repeat last year's last-place finish in the NL East.
Redmond, a 41-year-old former backup catcher, replaces the fired Ozzie Guillen in the dugout and needs to figure out how to coax wins out of a roster featuring 23-year-old slugger Giancarlo Stanton and little else in the way of proven players.
Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell and Hanley Ramirez all are gone.
As for facing Strasburg to open things, Redmond said: ``He gets a lot of press and has had a tremendous career so far, but I know the guys are excited and they'll be ready for him.''
Redmond added: ``We've been counting down the days. Obviously, it's a big challenge, but I think we'll be ready for it and hopefully we'll go out there and step up.''
Notes: Strasburg (2009) and LF Bryce Harper (2010) will be only the second pair of No. 1 overall draft picks in baseball's June amateur draft to start opening day together for the team that chose them, STATS LLC said. The other such duo? Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr. with the Seattle Mariners. ... Top Marlins pitching prospect Jose Fernandez surprisingly was added to the team's roster Sunday. He is expected to make his major league debut April 7 by starting at the New York Mets. RHPs Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez were put on the 15-day DL. ... RHP Ricky Nolasco will start against Strasburg on Monday. ... After Tuesday's scheduled day off, the starting pitchers for Game 2 on Wednesday: Washington LHP Gonzalez against Miami RHP Kevin Slowey. Game 3 on Thursday: Washington RHP Jordan Zimmermann against Miami LHP Wade LeBlanc.
---
AP freelance writers Charles McCarthy and Chuck King in Jupiter, Fla., contributed to this report.
---
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
 

MLB Team Pages

Top MLB Public Bets

#1 918 Toronto Blue Jays 96%
#2 903 St Louis Cardinals 75%
#3 916 Tampa Bay Rays 73%
#4 914 Detroit Tigers 69%
#5 921 Oakland Athletics 68%
#6 920 Boston Red Sox 63%
#7 912 Cleveland Indians 57%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

MLB Futures

MLB TEAM WORLD SERIES ODDS CURRENT
LOS ANGELES DODGERS 13/2
DETROIT TIGERS 17/2
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 17/2
ST LOUIS CARDINALS 9/1
NEW YORK YANKEES 12/1
OAKLAND ATHLETICS 12/1
TAMPA BAY RAYS 14/1
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 14/1
BOSTON RED SOX 14/1
TEXAS RANGERS 16/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com