Justin Verlander against Buster Posey in the the 2012 World Series was a match-up of the best pitcher and the hitting catcher in baseball. Those kind of showdowns are timeless. On Friday afternoon, Washington Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg pitched to the likes of Victor Martinez and Prince Fielder. Before the game was over, there would be a near scare for Nationals fans.
The Washington Nationals hopes came to an abrupt end in 2012. Their ace Stephen Strasburg was shut down before the regular season ended in an attempt to limit his innings pitched. Fans from Washington D.C. saw their postseason dreams vanish far too soon and feel cheated as their best player wasn’t available for the postseason.
Nationals fans saw Strasburg on the mound in spring training action Friday against the Detroit Tigers. After getting through Martinez and Fielder in their first at-bats, things got dicey through the second and third times through the order. Strasburg gave up a single to Martinez in his second at-bat and then, enter Fielder.
Fielder smacked a rocket up the middle and with it, nearly took Strasburg out of the game. Fielder’s hit appeared to hit Strasburg on his glove side hand and was immediately checked out by the training staff. The instant replay appeared to show Strasburg’s left thumb getting hit and fans from DC must have needed a change of pants. After shaking off the stinger, Strasburg stayed in the game. For Nationals fans watching, their hearts must have skipped a beat.
Unfortunately for Nationals fans, Martinez and Fielder would both come to the plate in the following inning. Both middle-of-the-order hitters knocked in RBI singles to center.
It was a good sign for Tigers fans to see their big bats come through against one of the best pitchers in baseball. The fans from Motown have to be waiting impatiently for opening day. No worries, spring has sprung (no matter what the weather looks like outside) and opening day is within reach.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) March 21, 2013