Quick Links

Gio Gonzalez the "Spaceman?"

Gio Gonzalez the "Spaceman?"

In the long history of Major League Baseball, few players have left a mark with their personality quite like Bill "Spaceman" Lee. A former left-handed starter, Lee played 14 seasons and was a one-time All-Star, but perhaps he is better known for his antics both on and off the field. He famously created the 'Leephus' pitch, wrote several books, and publicly spoke out on politics and drug use.

The former Red Sox and Expos pitcher is still well-known among baseball fans and hosted a chat with the website Deadspin on Tuesday. Most of the questions from fans were about drugs and what he is doing after baseball, but one question-and-answer hit home for Nats fans.

A reader posed a question to the Spaceman asking which current big leaguer most resembles his pitching style. Here is the back-and-forth:

Deadspin reader: what current pitcher would you say pitches most like you? Zito?

Lee: No, the guy who used to be with Oakland and is now with Washington

Unless Lee is referring to Henry Rodriguez, the "guy" he is talking about is Gio Gonzalez. Gio was traded to the Nationals over the offseason from the Athletics and is left-handed. Gonzalez also happens to be the life of the Nationals' locker room.

Statistically, they really aren't that similar. Both pitchers have maintained low ERAs across 200 inning seasons, but Gonzalez both strikes out and walks a lot more batters than Lee ever did. In 1974 Lee pitched 282.1 innings and posted just 95 total strikeouts, Gio has 168 this season through 159 13.

The "Spaceman" would be considered a pitch-to-contact guy much more than Gio Gonzalez and he was also a bigger pitcher at 6'3". Lee didn't elaborate, or specifically use Gonzalez' name, so as with most of what we know about Bill Lee, we may have to fill in the blanks.

Quick Links

Stephen Strasburg has career-high 15 strikeouts in Nationals win over Padres

Stephen Strasburg has career-high 15 strikeouts in Nationals win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Stephen Strasburg dominated San Diego with a career-high 15 strikeouts while allowing three hits over seven innings as the Washington Nationals beat the Padres 3-0 on Saturday.

Strasburg (6-1) singled and scored Washington's first run on Bryce Harper's RBI grounder in the third inning. Michael A. Taylor hit a two-run homer for the second consecutive game.

San Diego's lineup offered little resistance against Strasburg the day after Max Scherzer dominated the Padres with 13 strikeouts in Washington's 5-1 win.

Strasburg struck out the side in the third and sixth and had at least two in the first six innings.

The right-hander previously struck out 14 batters twice including his Major League debut on June 8, 2010. He set a personal best by setting down Franchy Cordero in the seventh.

Matt Albers pitched the eighth and Koda Glover the ninth for his fifth save.

Clayton Richard (3-6) followed up his complete-game victory over the Diamondbacks on May 21 by allowing three runs and 10 hits over six innings.

One out after Anthony Rendon's leadoff single in the sixth, Taylor drove a pitch over the wall in center field for his fourth homer of the season.

Washington has won two straight and five of six.

San Diego is 5-13 since May 9.

Strasburg registered his third win in as many starts. The San Diego native is 6-1 with a 2.93 ERA for his career against his hometown team.

He also matched the Padres' hit total thru five innings. After moving to third base following his leadoff single in third, Strasburg beat a throw home from first baseman Yangervis Solarte for a 1-0 lead.

San Diego loaded the bases with one out in the first following a single, a throwing error by first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Cory Spangenberg's four-pitch walk. Strasburg ended the threat by striking out Austin Hedges on three pitches.

The Padres had two singles in the sixth, but Strasburg recorded strikeouts for the final two outs. Washington pitchers finished with 17 strikeouts.

MORE NATIONALS: Nationals players visit local little league baseball teams

Quick Links

Nationals players visit local little league baseball teams

Nationals players visit local little league baseball teams

The Nationals visited several Washington D.C.-area little league baseball teams on Saturday before their afternoon game against the Padres.

The Nats’ Youth Baseball Uniform Program enables the team to get involved in their community. In addition to visiting local youth teams, the Nationals give all each player a jersey, a hat and the opportunity to come to a game at Nats Park.


The goal of the program is to “breakdown and minimize financial barriers that can prevent kids from playing baseball.”

Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman and Max Scherzer were among the 10 Nats who went on the community visits.

Harper at one point encouraged kids not to settle for losing, saying “as much as they might tell you it’s okay you lost - no.”

Giving back to the community has always been important for the Washington Nationals, and all the players - from little leaguers to major leaguers - seem to enjoy it.