Stephen Strasburg made his first Major League Baseball game debute Wednesday night as the new pitcher for the Washington Nationals. And the 21-year-old did not disappoint his new team or its fans.
In a home game against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates, he struck out 14 batters and succeeded in striking out every batter in the Pirates' lineup at least once. A radar gun measured his fastest pitch at 101 miles per hour.
"You just have to trust your stuff and things got better as the night went on and it just started clicking," Strasburg said.
He was this year's number one draft pick, who signed a record first year contract with the Nationals amounting to more than $15 million.
Strasburg's praises were even lauded on the floor of the U.S. Senate from both political parties.
"I watched him not only pitch, but the interview after the game. He carried himself so well," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.
"I wish I could have been there," Reid added. "Even watching it on TV, gee whiz, for those of us who love sports… this was really a remarkable performance."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also chimed in saying, "I was there and had a chance to see Strasburg. What a remarkable athlete. And we can only hope and pray that his arm holds up and that he has the kind of career that everyone is anticipating. There was literally electricity in the air."
Strasburg is expected to boost ticket sales whenever he is scheduled to pitch for the Nationals.