August 12th, 2010

Strasburg has bullpen session

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg had a bullpen session without any problems on Thursday, according to pitching coach Steve McCatty. The news comes two days after Strasburg had his worst outing of his Major League career.

During the session, McCatty told Strasburg to not think too much about his mechanics and just think about getting hitters out. Strasburg, who allowed a career-high six runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Marlins, acknowledged that he didn’t have problems with his right shoulder, which placed him on the disabled list on July 29. However, he didn’t have command of any of his pitches. He said he worried too much about his mechanics and wanted to make sure he didn’t hurt his shoulder again.

“We know our mechanics but we can’t think about our mechanics [while we’re on the mound].” McCatty said. “You have to trust yourself to make competitive pitches at the time. If we worry about where we are and everything being perfect and all that — like mechanics– it takes away what we are trying to do with the hitter. We’re always worried about mechanics. We just have to worry about that guy.

“You would be amazed at how your mechanics will really work if just trust it and not worry about it all the time. Trust yourself to make the pitches and the results that you want. There is a good chance you are going to have success.”

Strasburg, the ace of the Nationals’ pitching staff, will pitch against the Diamondbacks on Sunday. He has pitched in 10 games and is 5-3 with a 3.07 ERA. He leads Washington with 79 strikeouts.  


Dunn happy to remain with Nationals

A day after he was reportedly taken off waivers, first baseman Adam Dunn said Thursday he is happy to remain a member of the Nationals for the rest of the season.
Dunn had a feeling he would not be dealt after the non-waiver Trade Deadline passed.

“I knew that the probability of being traded at that point was slim to none,” Dunn said. “I knew once the Trade Deadline passed, I was 99 percent sure that I was going to stay put here for the rest of the season.” 

Dunn, a free agent after this season, said his agent, Greg Genske, and the Nationals continue to talk about a contract extension for Dunn. So far, they are not close to a deal. According to Dunn, both parties continue to have dialogue.

Dunn reiterated that he wants a four-year deal, but is willing to listen to a three-year offer. He does not want another two-year deal like the one he signed with the Nationals in February of 2009.

“I know we are still in communication. There is nothing set in stone,” Dunn said. “Both sides continue to talk. We have a long offseason ahead.”

Asked if he will be a member of the Nationals next year, Dunn said, “I don’t know. We’re going to continue to talk. If things can get where they need to be and both sides are happy, I’ll be here.”

Entering Thursday’s action, Dunn is hitting .273 with a National League-leading 31 homers and 78 RBIs.


Strasburg DVD worth watching

The first 15,000 fans to attend Thursday’s game between the Nats and Marlins will receive a commemorative DVD of Stephen Strasburg’s historic debut against the Pirates on June 8.

Making his Major League debut after 11 sensational Minor League starts, Strasburg pitched seven innings of two-run ball against Pittsburgh, earning the win and striking out 14 in the Nats’ 5-2 victory.

Delwyn Young’s two-run home run with two outs in the fourth was the only damage against Strasburg.

A sellout crowd of 40,315 saw Strasburg allow just four hits, and his 14 strikeouts established a club record. The 14 strikeouts by Strasburg in a Major League debut were one shy of the all-time mark of 15 set by Karl Spooner in 1954 and J.R. Richard in ’71. Even more amazing was that he struck out no more than nine batters in a game when pitching in the Minor Leagues.

Strasburg, who did the job without looking at scouting reports, threw 94 pitches, 65 for strikes, and didn’t walk a batter. The righty retired his final 10 batters, striking out his last seven.

Presented by Harris Teeter, the DVD will contain MASN’s broadcast coverage of the entire game as well as bonus features, including post-game interviews, highlights and a “Know Your Nats” segment with Strasburg.


Starting lineups for Nats, Marlins


Ramirez – SS

Morrison – LF

Sanchez, G. – 1B

Uggla – 2B

Ross – CF

Stanton – RF

Murphy – 3B

Hayes – C

Nolasco – P


Bernadina – CF

Desmond – SS

Dunn – 1B

Zimmerman – 3B

Morse – RF

Kennedy – 2B

Rodriguez – C

Harris – LF

Hernandez – P