Pitching Phenom Stephen Strasburg
Suffers First Professional Loss

Stephen Strasburg dropped just the first decision of his professional career.

San Diego Native Still Expected to Receive Call-Up to AAA Syracuse

Harrisburg, Penn. (Sunday, May 2, 2010) – When you compile a 13–1 record with a 1.32 ERA during your final season of college baseball, you don’t find yourself facing much adversity. That was the case for pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg when he was the best collegiate hurler in the country last year at San Diego State, but the current Harrisburg Senators pitcher was forced to overcome a few curveballs of his own today in the form of the opposing Alatoona Curve.

"There are always going to be days when things don't go your way,'' Strasburg said today after getting touched up for his first professional loss. "You've just got to learn from it.”

After a three up, three down first inning, the Alatoona bats started cracking today at Metro Bank Park. When he was pulled in the fifth frame with a pair of runners in scoring position, Strasburg had yielded four runs (three earned) on six hits. He also fanned four batters while walking three of the hitters he faced.

"I did what I could do," Strasburg remarked after the game. "I think they squared one ball up on me. It's just one of those days where you make a good pitch and you get weak contact (and) it just finds a hole."

Part of the reason for an uncharacteristic three walks by the top pick in the 2009 MLB Draft was a tight strike zone being enforced by umpire Jon Byrne, but location didn’t seem to be too much of an issue for the young ace.

"Every umpire has a different zone," he commented. "You've just got to keep pitching where you want to put it. I was doing that, I just wasn't getting the call."

After Strasburg was removed in the fifth inning, Alatoona was able to hold on for a 6-1 victory.

Strasburg’s next start is expected to be for the Syracuse Chiefs, which is the AAA affiliate of the Washington Nationals. While today’s outing was far from dismal, it is unknown if the performance will cause a delay in those plans. Prior to this loss, he had given up a single run in 17 1/3 innings and put up a nonexistent 0.52 ERA.

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