Washington Nationals fans should be up in arms over the decision to sit Steven Strasburg.
Strasburg was one of the best pitchers in the NL this season, and a solid number 2 behind Gio Gonzalez. He was 15-6, but more importantly he had a 3.16 ERA, a WHIP of only 1.155, and struck out 11.1/9 innings. He is a dominate pitcher and when he was needed most, he was left on the bench.
The Nationals made the playoffs for the first time in 21 years, when they were the Montreal Expos, and it was the first time a team from Washington made the playoffs in 79 years. How do you leave one of your best pitchers on the bench?
I fully understand the situation. Strasburg is young. He is coming off a season that ended early due to arm surgery. But do you know if you will make the playoffs again?
You never know what will happen in this great game of baseball. Look at the Red Sox the past few years. In 2010, many people thought they were a lock to make the playoffs. They finished third. In 2011, many thought they would be back in the World Series and they went on to have one of the worst collapses in baseball history again missing the playoffs. The point is you just don’t know.
With the baseball futility that has been known in Washington for so many years, it is hard to justify the decision. An injury to one or two people can really mess up a season and it happens all the time.
Washington finished the season with the best record in baseball with 98 wins. They dominated the NL East and were clearly the best team in the NL all season long. That is until they came back down to the pack when they decided to sit Strasburg.
The Nats were bounced in the divisional round of the playoffs by the St. Louis Cardinals. The series went the distance to 5 games, and you can’t tell me that if the Nats threw Strasburg the odds of them winning that series, and possibly the next, wouldn’t have gone up exponentially.
Not only that, but I think the Nationals robbed baseball of a chance to see Strasburg on the national stage. He is one of only a handful of pitchers that people actually stop down to watch throw. He is that electric.
I for one am not a Nationals fan or detractor. I root against them during the season because I am an Atlanta Braves fan. But seeing new blood in the postseason is always great, and in my mind they had the best chance of any team in the NL to bring the title home. That is with Strasburg pitching.
Now I am glad they are out. I think they go what they deserved. Unfortunately for their fans, and fans of baseball, they were robbed of a chance to see jut what could have been.
I will find it harder and harder to ever root for them to even make the playoffs again in the future.
What are your thoughts on the matter?