Chipper Jones has faced a host of nasty pitchers over his 18-year career, from Curt Schilling to Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez to Justin Verlander, but he said the young Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg is the nastiest of them all.
“He’s got the best repertoire of pitches that I’ve seen on any one single pitcher,” Jones said Friday.
Strasburg takes on the Braves and Mike Minor on Saturday.
Jones called Strasburg a hybrid of Kerry Wood in his prime and Verlander, with a similar fastball and breaking ball. But the difference to Jones is how good Strasburg’s change-up is.
“Verlander’s got a good change-up, but his is a circle change that just kind of fades away,” Jones said. “(Strasburg’s) is a 90-plus mph split that falls off the table. When you’re going up there getting geared up for 95, 96 mph and he throws you 90 and the bottom drops out of it, it’s a pretty lethal combination.”
Strasburg is 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA in two starts against the Braves but both times he was pitching against Braves ace Tim Hudson. Hudson pitched seven shutout innings against Strasburg on June 28, 2010 at Turner Field and gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings last Sept. 23 in Washington.