Every time that Stephen Strasburg shuts down another team, you hear the same two words: “as advertised.” That was certainly the case today, as the young ace of the Nationals’ staff shut out the New York Mets at CitiField, yielding two hits over six complete innings, while striking out nine. The Nats went on to victory, with a 4-0 win over the Mets — and leaped precariously into first place.
So it is: Strasburg has, in fact, been “as advertised.” His ERA for the 2012 campaign (we know, it’s early), stands at .069. More importantly, he gives the Nationals a better-than-good chance at victory every time he takes the mound. Coupled with an absolute lights out effort from Ryan Mattheus, Sean Burnett and Henry Rodriguez (three innings total, giving up just one hit), the Nats are now able to enjoy Opening Day in D.C. They return to their Southeast digs with a 4-2 record and victories in their first two opening series.
Once again, the Nats showed some lumber, though it’s obvious that not every hitter is in mid-season form. Ian Desmond pounded out two more hits, along with bench addition Xavier Nady. Mark DeRosa got his first hit of the season, and walked three times.
As good as Strasburg was, Nats’ hitters feasted on the very so-so Mets’ bullpen — which all but collapsed for the second game in a row. Mets’ relievers gave up seven walks, to go along with the three issued by New York starter Johan Santana. Santana, who might have pitched well enough to win, gave up a single earned run in five innings, and struck out six.
Those Are The Details, Now For The Headlines: We’ve been keeping up on the Nats’ blogsphere, and welcome the addition of “Bang! Zoom!” to our blogroll (we’re late on this, they’ve actually been around for some time), “The Zimmerman Telegram” (a nifty name, donchaknow), Nationals Arms Race (a less nifty name, but effective — and around since 2010), Natstradamus (creative, that) and Chatsports — which takes “social networking” (or perhaps it’s sports networking) seriously . . . If we’ve left anyone out, just drop us a line . . .
We also belately note, with some sadness, the passing of Nationals Daily News which, we would have bet, would have hung in there for the long haul. The site was up on Opening Day of the Nationals’ first season, but as Ian Koski wrote in NDN’s “Obituary,” the pressure of having to actually make a living took its toll . . . we know what he means . . . That said, Nationals Daily News was around for six years: a damned good run . . .
In another tardy bit of news, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of D.C. came out with its pre-season poll back on April 4. The survey of participants yielded some interesting, and some predictable results: that Ryan Zimmerman would lead the team in batting average, and Jordan Zimmermann in wins . . . that sounds about right . . .