The fans got everything they were promised.
According to Dave Sheinen of the Washington Post:
Yes, he could have broken the record for strikeouts in a debut (15) set by J. R. Richards back in 1971, or pitched a no hitter or even a perfect game to further grow his rapidly expanding legend, but he didn’t.
And nobody seemed the least little bit bothered.
(Note: Kudos to the designers of the Nats stadium. As far as we could tell, everything – traffic, parking, concessions, entry, exit – functioned smoothly last night with a capacity crowd. Also note, seat #6 in any row in Section 235 is DIRECLTY behind the foul pole. Toly Hansbrough and the T.A.H. crew had seats 8-11…so we narrowly missed disaster.)
One of that multitude of “Nats’ fans” was an eleven-year-old girl with no interest in the game beyond shopping in the Team Store. To make her even more miserable than a fifteen-year-old sulking like her iPod and cell phone had been taken from her, her BFF eleven-year-old girlfriend didn’t make the trip – leaving her in the company of four adults and two eight-year-old boys. To really pile on, one of the boys was her little brother.
Food, of all sizes and shapes, usually brings this one back from any rare funk, but not tonight. But the moment, we sat down in our seats 10 minutes before the first pitch, the transition back to normalcy seemed to be underway.
By the third or fourth strikeout, the crowd was up and cheering and the sulking eleven-year-old was caught up in the wave of excitement. By strikeout #10 she was yelling at the players on the field. When Strasburg fanned the last three Pirates he faced, she too was up and cheering with great enthusiasm.