(Stephen Strasburg on TV after his major league debut. He makes his 9th major league start Wednesday night in Cincinnati. Picture of TV/MASN by Nationals Enquirer staff.)
All we want for Strasmas is a win, and for Riggleman to start a Willingham (LF), Bernadina (CF), and Morse (RF) outfield for the next week, just to see what happens.
Once again, it's Strasmas, and so the Nationals turn to Stephen Strasburg to stop a losing streak. MASN's Ben Goessling points out that tonight promises to be an interesting new test for Baseball Jesus: first time pitching in a bandbox.
And once again, we'd be remiss if we didn't throw in a few obligatory "I can't wait to face him to see what all the hype is about, etc." quotes from the opposing team. Here you go, via Cincinnati Enquirer:
"I don't care if he strikes out 20 batters, not taking anything from him. He can probably come out and throw a no-hitter, but if our pitcher keeps us in the game long enough, I know we'll be able to score and win. That's all that matters for us."
(Orlando Cabrera, via Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/20/2010)
"It's a challenge, and he's in the way. We'd like to beat him."
(Dusty Baker, via Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/20/2010)
And then there's this from the Reds' Johnny Gomes, who will reportedly do cartwheels if he goes deep against Baseball Jesus, via Adam Kilgore/Nationals Journal:
The Reds are clearly aware of Wednesday's opposing starter. Today, legendary Reds beat writer Hal McCoy asked Reds outfielder Johnny Gomes, who has 99 career home runs, about the prospect of hitting his 100th tonight. "I'd rather do it Wednesday when we're on ESPN and I can hit one off the kid," Gomes said. "If I do that, I'll do cartwheels around the bases."
(via Nationals Journal, 7/20/2010)
The Reds are reportedly expecting a crowd in the mid-30,000s for Strasmas 9. Will the Great American Ball Park crowd sing a belated "Happy Birthday" to the now 22-year old Strasburg?