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Strasburg continues to create excitement in Hagerstown

August 22, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Stephen Strasburg winds up a pitch in the first inning against the Hickory Crawdads. Strasburg made his third appearance as a Hagerstown Sun on Monday night at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

Stephen Strasburg made his third appearance of the season with the Hagerstown Suns on Monday night and continued to create excitement in the stands.

Fans talked about Strasburg's "tremendous" ability, the joy of seeing him in a historic baseball park and watching him in a minor league setting that seems more like baseball than the professional level.

"I think he's a pretty good prospect. Great talent," said Brook Gladfelter, who joined friends from Pittsburgh to see Strasburg pitch in a game against the Hickory Crawdads.

Strasburg, making his fourth minor league start since undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery last year, struck out six and allowed one earned run over three innings Monday night. He gave up two hits and walked one batter.

The outing was better than Wednesday's performance, when he lasted just 1 1/3 innings against the Lexington Legends.

Gladfelter, of Greencastle, Pa., said he thinks Strasburg will be OK once he "gets the butterflies out."

Ed Ruths of Stephens City, Va., said he enjoyed the minor league setting, adding that pro baseball is "more like entertainment."  

Ruths said he has been to Municipal Stadium three times this year, which included one game in which highly touted Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper played.

"I just enjoy watching him pitch," Ruths said of Strasburg. "I was a pitcher when I played."

Alan Alper of Washington, D.C., talked about his enjoyable drive to Hagerstown on a warm breezy day to see Strasburg, whom he called "tremendous."

"Ain't much to not like about that," Alper said.

Alper had far more favorable words for Strasburg than for Harper, who completed a three-month stay with the Suns earlier in the summer.

Alper said he talked to some people who played baseball with Harper and they described him as arrogant.

"He seemed that way," Alper said.

Dave Irvin of Clear Spring said he likes to see a few Hagerstown Suns games every year. Irvin said he has not followed Strasburg much.

"But since he's here, it's an added attraction," Irvin said.

Irvin said he attended Wednesday's game and that Monday's crowd was smaller. He attributed that to the fact that fans might be kept away because Strasburg is pitching a limited number of innings.

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