With all the hype surrounding 21-year-old rookie Stephen Strasburg, it’s no wonder his adrenaline began pumping early Tuesday afternoon.

But, after taking the mound on Tuesday night, the fireballer got down to business and had one of the most successful debuts in major league history.

He would throw 96 pitches over seven innings of work and did not walk a single batter. Even more impressive than that however, was his 14 strikeouts that looked almost too easy.

His fastballs ranged anywhere from 95 to 101 MPH and he used it to his advantage. When hitters began to look for it and prepare for it, Strasburg would throw one of the nastiest hooks at 81 MPH, which was about as unhittable as his fastball.

Fans were on their feet for most of the night and for good reason. This young pitcher has brought excitement back to Nationals Park. A park that was averaging just over 14k fans per game was sold out on Tuesday at 45k strong. Even his former college coach, a hall of famer in his own right, Tony Gwynn was on hand to witness the San Diego State standout in his major league debut.

After his final strikeout of the night, he took a curtain call from the Nationals’ fans, something almost unheard of from a rookie. But when you’re Stephen Strasburg and you just had one of the most successful rookie debuts in baseball history, a curtain call seems necessary.

When the game came to a close, a 5-2 win for the Nationals, Strasburg was on the top step of the dugout doing an interview with one of the local stations in the nation’s capital when it was interrupted by teammates giving him a shaving cream pie.

When he wiped the first two off, he was handed a towel by teammate Scott Olson who promptly gave him his third shaving cream pie to the delight of onlooking fans. Not to mention he got to wear the silver wig, an honor not easily given to a rookie.

But my impression of Strasburg got even better watching his post game press conference. There was no arrogance, no cocky attitude that said “I know I’m good.” He answered the question like a seasoned veteran and even made mention of the future Hall of Famer, Pudge Rodriguez, and what it was like having a guy like that behind the plate.

Stephen Strasburg has a bright future ahead of him but the Nationals need to be careful just how long they let him go. He’s going to be a huge ticket draw even in visiting cities, just like he was during his days at San Diego State as well as in the minor leagues.

While he shouldn’t be looked at as the “savior” of the Nationals’ franchise, it certainly is something they can be proud of and a player that might just start their road to becoming a team to be reckoned with.

Seven innings pitched, two earned runs, no walks and 14 strikeouts. That’ll do kid, that’ll do.

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