Spencer Strider is putting together one of the better rookie seasons for a pitcher in the history of baseball, and if it weren’t for his teammate Michael Harris, he would run away with the Rookie of the Year award. Strider has arguably been a top-ten pitcher this year, proving to be a strikeout maestro thanks to his high-90s heat and wipeout slider. I see at least one Cy Young in his future, but not just because of his stuff; his mindset is also at the level it needs to be to succeed as a pitcher in the majors.
Strider pitched the series opener against the Giants, and it was a terrible outing for his lofty standards. He allowed a career-high nine hits over five innings, but he only gave up two earned runs and also struck out nine. Some major-league pitchers dream of performances like that, but not Strider, who had some legendary quotes after the game.
“I just pitched like an idiot a lot of times,” Strider said. “Didn’t make adjustments when I needed to. My fastball was arm side, not by a ton, but didn’t do anything to really adjust to get back to glove side. They had a good approach, they were taking the ball the other way. They took a lot of really good sliders. So, tip your cap to them a little bit. But some counts where I threw the wrong pitch and they made me pay for it. Just didn’t give us a chance.”
Strider is never afraid to speak his mind. If you remember, he had some choice words for the Mets following the shortest start of the season in which he only completed 2.2 innings.
Spencer Strider on his outing versus the Mets: "A lot of weird hits. They seem to be having a lot of luck right now offensively. That’s great. It’s August. (We’ll) see what things are like in October.”
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) August 8, 2022
But unlike his comments after that Mets game, which came off as a bit immature, Strider’s comments after the Giants game show what makes him so special. He expects perfection. When he doesn’t deliver, it eats at him until the next time he toes the rubber. Strider’s a lot like Max Fried in that way, and it’ll be a pleasure to see those two competitors lead the Braves rotation come the postseason.
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