Final Score: Braves 7, Nationals 5
Dame of the Game:
Adam LaRoche: 2-3, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, K. Deck the halls with Adam LaRoche. Fa la la la la, la la LaRoche.
Shame of the Game:
Chien-Ming Wang: 2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H. Stephen Strasburg left the game due to heat stroke. I hope Chien-Ming Wang left the game due to normal stroke.
So apparently it was really hot in Atlanta. I wouldn’t know, being in DC, where it was just slightly less really hot. Of course, I stayed within the friendly confines of very-much-conditioned air, oblivious to the maelstrom of flame that no doubt would have greeted me had I set a foot outside my door. As such, I have NO SYMPATHY whatsoever for Stephen Strasburg, who departed after three innings due to “heat exhaustion.” His untimely exit led to two innings of quintessentially latter-day Wangian baseball, by which I mean Chien-Ming Wang gave up a lot of runs.
Clearly we need to toughen Strasburg up. This is the second time this year that he’s left a game because part or all of him was too hot–first the groin, then the whole country (sounds like a strange call to revolution). How should we go about the toughening? To prepare him for the former problem, I’m sure there are some CIA people the Nats can call up to give Strasburg a quick lesson on the finer points of genital-based interrogation. As for the entire-body heat issue, perhaps forcing him to go to work for a few sweltering days in a full suit and tie, like everyone else in DC, would do the trick. If not, there’s always boiling oil. Let the Nats trainers know about these great ideas if you see them.
I do have one positive thing to say about Strasburg, which is not technically a joke but is still quite funny. On Saturday at the plate, he was 1-1 with a single and a walk. That means that in OPS this season, among hitters with over 25 plate appearances (a cutoff I picked like a delicious-looking cherry), Strasburg ranks…
4th. Number 4. The fourth best hitter in baseball, with an OPS of 1.090. Here’s who’s ahead of him. Justin Ruggiano (hrnk?). Matt Kemp (injured). Joey Votto (makes several hundred million dollars to do this). Then Stephen Strasburg. Then 524 other baseball players who qualify for this category. Then Braves starter Mike Minor, who brings up the rear with an a sparkling OPS of .080. The OPS difference between the two starting pitchers in this game was greater than 1.000, which I can’t imagine happens too often on June 30.
On that meaningless statistical note, I bid you happy guessing which National will melt in Sunday’s series finale. My money’s on Danny Espinosa. He just looks like the kind of person who might melt.