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September 12, 2012 11:05 am

Manufactured Runs: Searching for Fatigue in Stephen Strasburg


Colin Wyers

Does a look at Stephen Strasburg's PITCHf/x data reveal what might have caused the Nationals to shut him down early?

Tonight in New York is the “not” heard round the world: the game Stephen Strasburg would have been pitching if the Nationals hadn’t shut him down ahead of schedule, due to problems “mentally concentrating” that the Nationals blame on the level of media attention to the team’s plans to shut him down.

The Nationals have a strong lead in the NL East, so they are unlikely to miss his performance in one game, or for the rest of the regular season, very much. The larger issue surrounding Strasburg is the impact of losing him for the postseason. When the Nationals instituted their plan for Strasburg at the beginning of the season, it made a lot of sense for a young team with slim hopes of making the playoffs to protect one of their most valuable (and most fragile) players from injury. With the Nationals heavily favored to make the playoffs, though, some Nationals fans are likely to be disappointed if their team’s ace isn’t available for a single game of the postseason.

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The A's pitching coach talks about the importance of off-speed pitches, imparting wisdom to younger pitchers, and making sure you know your opposition.

Curt Young knows pitching, and with 19 years in the organization, he knows the Oakland Athletics. Originally taken in the 1981 draft, the left-hander spent 10 of his 11 seasons as a big league pitcher with the A's, twice winning 13 games, and contributing to a World Series championship in 1989. Young joined the coaching ranks in 2000 and has served as the A's pitching coach since December 2003. David talked to Young about managing pitch counts, the importance of throwing a strike on 1-1, and why Lenny DiNardo can succeed with an 82 MPH fastball.

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