“Tremendous!,” “Dazzling!,” and “Holy ****!” were but of the few descriptors I heard while watching Stephen Strasburg pitch the first two innings of his career.

The display was impressive, but I wanted to see the rookie at least be eligible for the win before I enshrined him in the Hall of Fame.

Over the course of the next five innings, Stephen Strasburg did more for Major League Baseball in a single effort than any other player had done in arguably a decade—and he’s not on steroids (Oh god, I hope he’s not on steroids).

The seven-inning, 14-strikeout display put on by the 21-year-old was just what the national media ordered.

Baseball fans have needed a homegrown player that didn’t make out with himself in the mirror, and my goodness, we may just have found him.

Now, we should temper our expectations.

Years of watching pitching phenoms has taught us that very few people on this earth are blessed with arms that can throw a baseball 100 miles per hour, and there are even fewer people that have shoulders that can sustain such an arm.

Lest we forget, Kerry Wood threw a 20-strikeout game against the Astros in only his fifth career start and then went on to have an injury-plagued career. But by that same token, Roger Clemens also threw a 20-strikeout game as a 23-year-old, and by all indications, his career was not so bad.

Don’t assume the Nationals decided to unveil Strasburg against the Pirates, a team that ranks dead last in the league in batting average, runs, and second to last in hits, by coincidence.

While Strasburg’s debut is phenomenal by any measure, make no mistake, the Nationals were going to take every precaution to make sure that the first relevant thing to happen to their franchise since—well, not many notable things have happened to them—was going to go well.

The real test for Strasburg will be consistency. Was this a game against an exceedingly bad team, or was this performance the coming-out party for a player that’s going to go on to win more than 10 games this season?

Strasburg’s next start will come against Cleveland and will once again garner significant fanfare. Because of his great success in his first contest, the pressure on him to perform at a high level may be even greater in this game.

Fortunately for him, the Indians, like the Pirates, are at the bottom of their division and rank in the bottom five in the league in terms of hits, batting average, and runs. So while another performance similar to that displayed last night may be unlikely, given the conditions surrounding the opponent, it may not be completely out of the question.

Regardless of the opposition, Strasburg’s debut at the major league level was nothing sort of legendary. If he goes on to have a Hall of Fame career, it’s a contest we will all reflect on fondly, saying, “I remember that guy’s first game, and even then he was dynamite!” If he ends up fizzling out, he will be yet another cautionary tale we tell others when the next great pitching prospect comes along and is expected to take baseball by storm.

But for the time being, this is going to be fun to watch.

So enjoy him while you can, America—he’ll be in a Yankees uniform soon enough.

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