The key to having success against Stephen Strasburg is relatively elementary, according to Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell.
The ability to carry out that game plan is a different matter altogether.
The Blue Jays will square off against the tough Washington National right-hander Wednesday afternoon at Rogers Centre where another loss for the home side will drop Toronto under .500 for the first time this season.
The 23-year-old comes into the game with an impressive pitching resume this year, ranking first among National League pitchers in strikeouts (with 92) and strikeouts per nine innings (11.7).
According to Fangraphs.com, Strasburg also leads Major League Baseball in average fastball velocity at 96 miles per hour.
With all that to contend with, Farrell was asked what advice will he be imparting to his hitters heading into the game.
“Go get that first fastball,” the manager said. “Against top quality pitchers you can’t wait around to try to build pitch counts. They throw strikes, they have dominant stuff, well above average secondary pitches.
“When you look at what hitters do against his first pitch fastballs that’s been the most productive count to hit in. So you can’t sit around and wait.”
Considering that Strasburg comes into the game with a 7-1 won-loss record and a 2.41 ERA, not too many hitters this year have been able to enjoy success against him.
Prior to the game the Blue Jays announced they have recalled infielder Yan Gomes from their Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas to fill the spot created by Brandon Morrow, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.
Farrell still hasn’t said who will get the call to replace Morrow in the starting rotation.
With an off-day on Thursday allowing the team some flexibility, Farrell said whomever gets the call can be expected to start Monday’s game in Milwaukee against the Brewers.