Lost in the shadows of Stephen Strasburg has been the strong, effective bullpen performance of fellow 2009 draftee Drew Storen. Storen has done nothing but bring excitement and smiles to the faces of Nationals executives, who draft Storen 10th overall last year with the idea of him being the franchise's future closer.
How about the performance yesterday? Stephen Strasburg was clearly frustrated and effective by less than optimal mound conditions and ended up allowing a single and walking two with one out in the fiftth inning. Jim Riggleman turned to his 'other' first round pick, Storen, to get Strasburg out of a bases loaded, one out jam.
Storen appeared to have a foul, pup out, but non-called fan interference, prevented Alberto Gonzales from making the catch. The next pitch, Storen got the pop up out to second base. Two outs. The final third out was even more impressive, a pure power strikeouts that made Strasburg smile. His pal, his fellow 2009 draftee, got him out of the jam, a nice ERA in tact.
Nats fans may be enthralled and obsessed with Strasburg, maybe even not enough to totally appreciate what the are getting from Storen, but Strasburg appreciates. He extended his hand to Storen as a sign of thanks for saving his ERA. It was a picture Nats fans will likely get used to for a long time, a Strasburg to Storen hand off.
The plan was for the Strasburg to Storen hand off in June 2009. Strasburg, the phenom, was picked first overall to become the future ace of the Nationals. That is already in progress. Nine spots later, the Nationals chose Storen our of Stanford to hopefully become the future closer. Although Storen has not been put in any closing role yet, the 1 out bases load jam for the phenom was about as close as you get, and Storen shined, brightly. Nationals scouts and officials have to be grinning cheek to cheek at this duo. The potential and ideal is quickly becoming a Nationals reality.
So while we all remain Strasburged, let's take a look at the Storen stats:
Opp Bat Avg: .200
Impressive numbers thus far. Now say a bit of thanks, then slip back to your mental state of Strasburgmania.
Oh and one more thing (this is for the nationals front office) --- just an idea. How about dumping Miguel Batista and recalling Josh Wilkie?