OK, so we all know that movie sequels aren't usually as great as the first, right. I think there's 50/50 shot for a resurgent 3rd start and blockbuster style win. Still, two starts, two wins, 22 strikeouts and millions of fascinated fans.
Coming off a 14-strikeout debut in a win over the Pirates, Stephen Strasburg had more trouble with the Progressive Field's mound than the Indians hitters in his first road start. A shame that it interferred with his pitching otherwise we may have seen more records broken.
Strasburg (now 2-0) allowed only two hits, including a home run by Travis Hafner off a 100 mph fastball. He struck out 8 and walked 5 before leaving with 1 out to go in the 5th inning. It appears with high velocity pitches he will be prone (at least at first) to gove p the longball. regardless, his ERA is still a stingy 2.19 and a microscopic WHIP of .5714 (thanks in part to rookie reliever Drew Storen)!
Strasburg was in control from the outset, but was bothered by loose dirt on the mound and twice requested repairs. After a walk in the 6th he kicked at the dirt, showing frustration for the first time in the majors. It might have been Cleveland's "ultimate" home-field advantage (hint, hint...).
His appearance drew 32,876 fans, the 2nd largest crowd at Progressive Field this season and did more for the Indian's gate sales today than their own team for nearly the entire season so far. More than 10,000 tickets sold since his Tuesday start and 3200+ in walk-ups today. The hype he's created so far rivals that for Fernado Valenzuela's rookie season on 1981; remember 'Fernandomania!". However, I think the pressure is quite a bit more intense these days. Despite that, he still is proving dominant and will look to continue his winning ways against Gavin Floyd and the middling White Sox June 19th.
On hand today was a former pitching prodigy for the Indians, 91-year-old Hall of Famer Bob Feller, who K'd 15 in his first start in 1936 as a 17 year old. According to Elias Sports Bureau, only one pitcher since 1900 had more strikeouts before issuing his first career walk than Strasburg, who fanned 19 before walking Indians' Carlos Santana in the 4th. Reds Johnny Cueto struck out 22 before his first walk in 2008. Also, another previous rookie phenom and current Cleveland Indian, Kerry Wood, K's 20 in his 5th start against the Astros in 1998. I wonder what Mr. Strasburg will show us by then?