Stephen Strasburg Wants Davey Johnson to ‘Loosen The Leash’ so He Can Pitch Deeper Into Games


Although Stephen Strasburg may have been kidding about his manager letting him pitch past the seventh inning, I’m sure there was some truth to that statement. The 24-year-old right-hander was shut down before the playoffs last season and is getting tired of being held back because of an innings limit. Strasburg is gearing up for a big start this weekend against the red-hot Atlanta Braves. Stephen Strasburg joined 106.7 The Fan in D.C. with Holden and Danny to discuss the amount of time he spends watching tape, maturing as a starting pitcher, pitching deeper into games, getting into a routine after the opening week of the season and his next start against the Atlanta Braves this weekend.

Are you a big video guy or do you watch tape when needed?

“Yeah, kind of as needed. I really don’t like to break down mechanics that much. I’m a real rhythm type of pitcher. I know when my rhythm comes on later in the game and it kind of starts clicking. I look at video to see exactly how I was setting up in the stretch and the windup and make sure I look the same on all of my pitches.”

How much different are you now as a pitcher as compared to when you broke into the league?

“I’ve learned to scale back and realize not necessarily throwing as hard as you can every time is the right recipe, so I try and scale back a little bit and I definitely try to hit my spots a little bit better. And my goal is to go deep into the ballgame every time out, and that’s all I’m really focused on right now and hopefully I can keep doing that.”

When you say go deeper into ball games, is a complete game the thing on your mind?

“Yeah, absolutely, and hopefully Davey Johnson will loosen the leash here a little bit at some point [laughs] and let me go past the seventh. I think I am more focused on the eighth inning.”

Are you relieved that the opening day week is over and that you guys can get into a routine?

“Yeah, absolutely. It’s tough when you start out with some day games and off days. I know as the season goes on that I will get more into a routine and I’m still waiting for the night to start. It hasn’t happened yet. I gotta wait a couple of more starts for that to happen.”

Tell me what you’ve seen and know about the Atlanta Braves for your next start?

“I faced them in spring training. They didn’t have their full squad. I didn’t face much of their left-handed hitters that I am probably going to see on Saturday. They are starting out hot and we are starting out pretty hot, too. I think it’s going to be a good series for us.”

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