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Stephen Strasburg to debut on June 8 vs. Pirates

Stephen Strasburg

Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg throws during the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, March 9, 2010, in Viera, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


It’s finally official. After rampant speculation and anticipation, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told Bill Ladson of that 2009 first-round pick Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his major league debut on Tuesday, June 8 against the Pirates.

The 21-year-old right-hander has blown the doors off minor league competition, going 6-2 with a 1.43 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and a 60/12 K/BB ratio through his first 10 professional starts. Naturally, the Nationals have been more than pleased with their record-breaking investment. And with his potential “Super Two” status no longer a concern, they are ready to set him loose on major league hitters.

“Along with [pitching coordinator] Spin Williams and pitching coach Steve McCatty, we had a plan in place since Spring Training [for Strasburg],” Rizzo said. “We believe he is ready to go. We like that Stephen could bounce back from tough outings.”

But he isn’t bound for NatsTown quite yet. Strasburg is scheduled for one final tuneup with Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday, where Rizzo said he is expected to throw six innings or 95 pitches.

And now time for a little experiment. I’m wondering how many fans who bought tickets to the widely-hyped June 4 game will actually show up to watch J.D Martin or somebody of similar ilk?