It's been a few weeks since we saw Stephen Strasburg pitch, and frankly, I was beginning to miss him. Luckily for me, and the rest of the Nationals fans in D.C., it seems like he is well on his way back to the mound.
Strasburg pitched a simulated game on Thursday, and according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the results were very positive.
Stephen Strasburg finished his anticipated simulated game at Chase Field with no apparent issues, throwing roughly 40 pitches -- fastball, curveballs and changeups -- over two simulated "innings." Strasburg experienced some wildness, but most important, his pitches were crisp, his velocity almost as blistering as the 106-degree Arizona heat that engulfed the park with the retractable roof open.
The batters in this game were Justin Maxwell and Willie Harris, who took alternating hacks over the course of two simulated innings.
Maxwell swung and missed three times, and Harris swung and missed once. They took most of the pitches, but each hitter ripped one line drive. After his, a simulated single to right-center, Harris shot his fist into the air and yelled, "Yeah!" before walking out of the cage and giving Maxwell a high five.
I guess we can call that a moral victory, Willie.
But he can have that hit, the most important thing to Strasburg, and the Nationals organization, is that he made it through the day without any arm problems, and wasn't scratched from the start before it even started.
UPDATE: Kilgore is now reporting that Strasburg has been named the starter for Tuesday's home game against the Marlins. Scott Olsen's start will be moved back a day.