San Diego State plays TCU this weekend... Strasburg scheduled to start Friday... anyone going to see him?
SAN DIEGO – The radar gun blinks wildly. It’s not used to this. No one makes it strain to read out a third digit. It looks like binary code, not the speed of a pitch from a 20-year-old kid: 101.
It keeps showing up, 101 again and again, and as scouts peek at the number, they ask aloud what everyone else in the baseball world wonders: Will Stephen Strasburg someday throw a baseball harder than anyone has before?
Two men holding radar guns as well as his pitching coach said he has touched 103 mph this season. Only three others have done that, and all were major league relief pitchers, not juniors in college. Strasburg is a starter for San Diego State, and his velocity levels off in triple digits, something never seen, not from Nolan Ryan or Randy Johnson or any of the modern fireballers since the advent of the radar gun.
So it’s no surprise that Strasburg is dominating college like no pitcher ever has. He has 74 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings, meaning only 29 outs have come via batted ball. He fanned 23 batters in one game last year, and in seven outings with Team USA last summer, culminating with the Beijing Olympics, he struck out 62 in 41 innings.