Joe Maddon: Stephen Strasburg is pitching ‘at the top of his game’
Joe Maddon was quite gracious after watching Stephen Strasburg dominate his club for the second time in the NLDS between the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals.
Strasburg overcame illness and a major controversy to pitch seven brilliant innings with 12 strikeouts as he got the win in the Nats’ Game 4 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday. After the game, Maddon had tons of praise for the Nats starter.
“He gets ahead in the count. Fastball command is outstanding. He’s really able to throw his fastball for a strike when he wants to, where he wants to. His curve was really good, too. He had everything going on tonight,” Maddon said of Strasburg’s Game 4 performance.
“If you don’t get him early in the count, it’s really difficult because he has two other outstanding pitches to throw early in the count. … He’s pitching absolutely at the top of his game right now. That is really outstanding stuff. Give him credit.”
Not only did Strasburg pitch seven scoreless innings allowing three hits with 12 strikeouts in Game 4, but he also had a nearly identical line in Game 1. He also went seven innings allowing three hits with 10 strikeouts in that game, but he allowed two unearned runs and was the hard-luck loser.
The Nats really couldn’t have asked for much more out of Strasburg to this point, except for maybe wishing to avoid the controversy over his start.