Almost a month after being sent to the Nationals minor-league camp in Viera, pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg made his professional debut for Double-A Harrisburg. The flame-throwing righty allowed four hits and only one earned run in five innings of work, while striking out eight and walking two.
Strasburg's start didn't go without a hitch, however, as the 21-year-old appeared to lose composure after an error behind him cost him several unearned runs.
"Not bad. Not great. Yep, the Altoona Curve gave Strasburg a tussle in his first professional start Sunday in a Double-A game for the Harrisburg Senators. The most highly touted, highly paid first-year pitcher ever gave up his first pro run in his first pro inning on a solid single that followed a solid double. He settled down the next two innings, and then in the fourth let an error by his shortstop mess with his mind. Strasburg gave up a two-run single with two out, failed to back up the catcher in time on a play at the plate and surrendered an RBI single to the opposing pitcher."
In other Strasburg news, Peter Gammons tweeted that the young righty's contract contains a clause that limits him to throwing 100 innings in 2010. Some speculate that this means that Strasburg will be used in relief when he is brought up to Washington, with similar rules that Joba Chamberlain had when he was brought up by the New York Yankees.