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Stephen Strasburg Rewards Nationals for Their Trust


“He can get you in so many ways, sometimes changeup, sometimes curveball, sometimes he’s just attacking, sometimes he’s pitching backwards,” Turner said. “He can do it all. Just the competitiveness in the postseason has been crazy.”

Zimmerman said Strasburg had learned a few years ago to be stoic on the mound, to stop “letting the little things bother him,” and Strasburg, 31, agreed. Injuries have sometimes restricted him — he made 22 to 24 starts in 2015, 2016 and 2018 — but this year he led the National League in innings, with 209. His edge has grown ever sharper.

“The ups, the downs, it only makes you stronger mentally,” Strasburg said after Game 6. “I think, without those things, it would have been a lot harder to focus on what I can control out there.”

Strasburg acknowledged that he had matured from all the scrutiny, and had learned over time to be the best version of himself. How does he block out the noise?

“Remind myself what’s most important — it’s these guys in the clubhouse, it’s my two little girls, my wife and family, all those things,” he said. “You focus on your support system and everything else is just there.”

Game 6 of the World Series was just there on Tuesday, so Strasburg handled it. He was the first pitcher in his lifetime to work eight innings on the road when facing elimination in the World Series, and that was probably all he had to give.

“I emptied the tank tonight,” he said. “It’s trusting everybody next to you. It’s going to take all 25 of us.”


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