It’s been a rocky start for the Washington Nationals. They have been an average team in both hitting and pitching. They lead the league in errors with 25 (Ian Desmond has eight, also worst in majors) and now sit three games back of the Atlanta Braves after stranding 14 base runners during Thursday night’s extra-innings loss to the Padres.
Luckily, Stephen Strasburg’s changeup is as reliable as ever.
According to BrooksBaseball, Strasburg has thrown his changeup 1,164 times in the major leagues. It has been hit for just seven extra-base hits, with the last one a Tyler Colvin homer on July 6, 2012.
Last season, batters barely got any results, hitting a minuscule .130 and whiffing on the pitch 47 percent of the time. This season, it carries a 33.7 percent whiff percentage, and no hitter has put the ball in play safely in any of the 92 offerings.
He throws the changeup to both righties and lefties, like during this strikeout of Colby Rasmus in 2012, Strasburg’s 100th career strikeout.
Batters are still chasing that pitch today.
There is a lot going wrong with the Nationals, but Strasburg’s changeup isn’t one of them.