Get your tickets now.
21-year-old phenom Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to pitch for Syracuse at McCoy Stadium on Monday, May 17th at 12:05 pm, and if his Triple-A debut is any indication, it will be a memorable afternoon.
Well, maybe not so much for Pawtucket’s hitters.
On Friday night, Strasburg drew a crowd of 13,766 to Alliance Bank Stadium – the largest recorded attendance figure in the 135-year history of baseball in Syracuse.
“This is off the charts,” Chiefs general manager John Simone told the Syracuse Post-Standard. “I can’t believe how much Washington Nationals’ stuff people are wearing. “He’s made Washington fans out of people here. He’s LeBron-like.”
And not only in his ability to sell tickets.
Strasburg, the #1 pick in last year’s draft, threw 6 scoreless innings in his Triple-A debut and the Gwinnett Braves never hit a ball in the air. Strasburg had 6 strikeouts and recorded 12 ground outs while throwing 45 of his 65 pitches for strikes. The only hit he allowed was on a ground ball single up the middle by Gregor Blanco.
Strasburg’s first pitch of the game was a 96 mph fastball for a called strike, and he topped out at 99 mph on the stadium radar gun. His catcher was Carlos Maldonado who played for the PawSox last season.
“He was amazing,” Maldonado told the Washington Post. “I’m just glad he was on my side.”
The color analyst on the local telecast was former major league pitcher Steve Grilli who happens to be the losing pitcher in the longest game in baseball history. He’ll be our guest on “PawSox Insider” which begins at 2:00 pm on Saturday.
Feel free to listen while ordering tickets for May 17th at McCoy.
* * * * *
On Friday, the Chico Outlaws held a news conference to officially announce that 18-year-old female knuckleballer Eri Yoshida will pitch for the team this season. The Japanese teenager taught herself how to throw the knuckler while watching videos of Tim Wakefield.
Yoshida will immediately become the most well-known player in franchise history. The Outlaws have received requests for Eri to appear on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Yoshida is a long shot to make the majors, but it appears increasingly likely that a former Outlaw has a big league future – PawSox outfielder Daniel Nava.
(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
Nava belted a long HR in Friday’s 12-4 victory at Charlotte to extend his current hitting streak to 7 games. He’s hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games, going 19-for-56 (.339) with 5 2B, 3B, 4 HR, and 17 RBI.
For the season, Daniel is .305/.400/.505 in 27 games. In 173 career games in the Red Sox organization (Single-A, Double-A, and Triple-A), Nava is hitting .340 (219-for-645) with 54 doubles, 4 triples, and 19 HR.
The guy can flat-out hit.
* * * * *
The PawSox will try to equal their longest winning streak of the year at two in a row on Saturday when they face Charlotte at 7:15.
I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning at 7:00 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.
And don’t forget “PawSox Insider” from 2:00-3:00.
I’d love to hear from you. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard