Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Less than 10 years ago, you could find Stephen Strasburg walking around the San Diego State campus. Fast forward 9 years and he is leading his team to the first World Series appearance in Washington Nationals history.
In 2009, Strasburg was named the NCAA Pitcher of the Year while recording a school-record 195 strikeouts including a 23-strikeout game. In addition, he still holds the school’s lowest ERA (1.59).
Strasburg, 31, dominated in the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He struck out 12 batters including 8 with his changeup while not allowing a single walk or run. He now has a career postseason ERA of 1.32, which means he has been one of the best pitchers in October of all-time.
Strasburg is ready to play in his first World Series alongside his great teammates. “I think it’s been just such an amazing year, and I think it’s really been great just because of where we’ve had to come from,” he told Reuters. “We’ve got such a great group of guys, and it’s fun. It’s fun being around the guys and going out there and competing together. I think (if) you ask anybody in there, we just want to stay together and keep playing.”
Strasburg wasn’t just the only pitcher to perform. Anibal Sanchez started Game 1 and threw 7.2 no-hit innings to lead Washington to a Game 1 win. Max Scherzer had a tremendous performance of his won in Game 2 to give his team a 2-0 lead heading back to the nation’s capital.
Games 3 and 4 went to the Nationals, as the Cardinals offense failed to ever string together hits to get to the Nationals starting pitching.
Howie Kendrick won the series MVP, as he drove in 4 runs with three doubles in Game 3. If we flashback to the NLDS he hit the most important home run in Nationals history to knock off the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round. He says their job isn’t over, as they still need to win the World Series.
“We think we can compete with any team, any time,” Kendrick said after their NLCS victory, as published by The Washington Post. “People always get caught up in the things that are on paper, but the reality of it is you have to go out and play. Once we get out on the field, anything can happen.”
The Washington Nationals will be facing the Houston Astros starting October 22.