Drew Storen in-motion, Photo By Ian Koski/Nationals Daily News
The much hyped Stephen Strasburg road debut resulted in a 9-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians, snapping the midwesterner’s four-game win streak. Indians’ manager and ex-Nats manager Manny Acta said his team couldn’t get anything going offensively in yesterday’s day. That’s not 100% true.
Cleveland scored 33 runs during their four-game win streak, two wins against the Nationals. Acta’s Indians got a taste of Strasburg when he struggles. Strasburg walked five batters while striking out eight, but those five walks were crucial moments of the game. Those walks were the only real chance besides Travis Hafner’s solo shot over the right-field wall off a 100-mph fastball from Strasburg’s right hand to score.
All Indians runners were stranded. Strasburg got out of a couple jams, but not before coming out after 5 1/3 innings with Washington up 6-1 over Cleveland.
Strasburg left the game with the bases loaded and one out. Enter Drew Storen.
Storen was selected 10th in the First-Round MLB Player Draft last year, nine spots behind Stephen Strasburg. The past week is proof enough that Strasmania is capturing the minds and imaginations of fans, media outlets, and baseball junkie’s nation-wide, but what about that other guy? Yeah – I’m talking about Drew Storen.
MLB.com’s Bill Ladson is calling Strasburg the stopper. While it’s hard to disagree, the combo of Strasburg and Storen completes the equation. The S-boys are the stoppers. Both of them – together.
Heck, even shortstop Ian Desmond agrees. “If I were going to give somebody the title of ‘stopper’ today,” Desmond told Nationals Journal writer Adam Kilgore, “I’d give it to Storen.”
They’ve been associated with each other since this time last year when they were selected by the Nationals in the draft.
“I joke with Strass that I should be getting a cut from our PR department, because I’ve done so many interviews about him,” Storen told Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog before the Strasburg debut. “But that’s part of it. I’m glad. It gets me more attention. I’d probably just fly under the radar without him. The fact that I’ve been in his shadow gets me more attention.”
There’s no reason for Storen to be in the shadow. He’s making it obvious that he’s just as valuable to the Nationals organization and current line-up as Stephen Strasburg. Had he not cleaned up the slight sixth inning mess that Strasburg got into with packing the bases full of Indians, the headlines from yesterday’s game would look a lot different right now.
What if Saint Strasburg tarnished his now 2-0 record and had taken a no-decision or loss? Fans and the management would be unhappy. Folks nationwide who are following Strasburg’s rookie season would say, “Well, nobody’s perfect.” Thanks to Storen, nobody had to feel discouraged about yesterday’s game – Strasburg and Storen included.
“I’ve adjusted well I feel great. It’s not too different, but it’s just kind of a matter of taking a deep breath and you know, kinda relaxing and kinds getting some innings under my belt and getting my feet wet,” Storen told Federal Baseball’s Patrick Reddington when asked what’s been different for him on the mound since his debut earlier this season.
He appears to be pretty relaxed. According to Nats Inside Mark Zuckerman, Strasburg needed Storen’s bailout and an offensive surge from his teammates to win yesterday’s game. He did. Not to mention the fact that during this season, Storen is boasting a 1.54 ERA and has inherited 12 runners when brought into a game – none of which have scored.
“I enjoy that tight spot, and I was just glad to get out of it,” Storen told Kilgore. “It’s been a rapid development. I was in pressure situations right from start. I think I grew a lot from that.”
The Nationals have a day-off today before starting their next interleague series against the Detroit Tigers tomorrow at 7:05. John Lannan (2-3, 5.00) faces Max Scherzer (2-6, 6.30).