Every year when I was a child, my siblings and I came to Syracuse to visit our grandparents. My dad grew up here and his mother still lives here. A week and a half ago my mother sent me an email saying they were thinking of heading up to visit her over this weekend – would I like to join them? Sure thing – the New York State Fair is going on, we have dear family friends who live nearby that I don’t get to see nearly often enough, and when I checked the schedule, I noticed that the Syracuse Chiefs (Triple-A Affiliate of the Nationals) would be in town. I told Ashley that I was going out of town, and she replied back saying, “I hear that Strasburg might be making a rehab start on Saturday – you should get tickets!” I saw one more rumor on Twitter and thought, “Heck – if he doesn’t start, the tickets are still cheap enough that it won’t be a big deal.”
It turned out that I was very lucky. I snagged two 4th row from the field seats to see one of Strasburg’s best starts yet since coming back from Tommy John surgery. 7 strikeouts, 64 pitches, 47 of them for strikes, and a fastball that topped out around 98 (according to the most-likely broken Alliance Bank Stadium scoreboard). Strasburg knew he did well too – his quote from after the game was “The numbers did the talking.”
After five innings of no runs, no hits, no errors, Strasburg proved he was human by allowing two singles (only one of whom would go on to score). The Chiefs would go on to win the game 4-3…though they did it in dramatic fashion in the ninth with two runners on before getting the third out.
Not only did we get to see the spectacular pitching by Strasburg, we got a sneak preview of some of the other guys who will likely be called up in September – Roger “The Shark” Bernadina (who is already a Natstown favorite) who had a homerun and a double which provided the bulk of the Chiefs’ offense…
…Steve Lombardozzi Jr. who made a couple of amazing plays, as well as helping the offense with a hit and a stolen base, and Matt Antonelli who made the most incredible diving catch you’ve ever seen to end the painful 6th inning.
The rest of the pictures from this game can be seen here.