41, 1.78, .242 – Strikeouts, ERA and opponents’ on-base percentage for Nationals rookie Steven Strasburg in his first four major league starts.
The hard-throwing right-hander makes his fifth start Monday against the Braves and Tim Hudson, and a large crowd is expected at Turner Field to watch the latest chapter of the most-chronicled and buzzed-about season by any rookie pitcher.
Strasburg’s 41 strikeouts (in 25-1/3 innings) are a major league record for a picher’s first four starts, and he’s only issued five walks and allowed 19 hits.
Right-handed batters are 8-for-47 (.170) with a staggering one walk and 26 strikeouts against him. Lefties have fared a little better at 11-for-47 (.234) with two homers, four walks and 15 strikeouts.
Right-handed batters have an absurdly low .358 OPS (on base-plus-slugging percentage against him, while lefties have a .677 OPS.
It shapes up as a sensational matchup of Strasburg vs. Hudson, who is 8-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 14 career starts against the Nationals, including 7-0 with a 1.62 ERA in past 10.
Also, Hudson is 4-1 with a 1.87 ERA in five home starts this season.