While there were a number of players that were considered for World Series MVP honors, it was Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg who took the award, who notched victories in Game 2 and Game 6 of the World Series for Washington.
Strasburg had been electric in the postseason, going 5-0 with a 1.98 ERA in five postseason starts and one relief appearance.
It was a story long in the making for Strasburg, a former first overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft, who was famously shut down due to an innings limit following Tommy John surgery. With Strasburg notching 14 strikeouts in his Nationals debut, the most in a big league debut since Houston’s J.R. Richard in 1971, the decision to shut him down was an unpopular one.
“I slept like a baby when we made the decision,” Washington general manager Mike Rizzo said (h/t ESPN). “I knew more information than the people criticizing. I’ve got a pretty thick skin being in the game this long.”
“I think through all the adversity I’ve learned a lot about myself,” Strasburg said. “When you have the ups and downs, I think you can learn just as much from the downs as you can from the ups. I think everything happens for a reason, and I think I’ve really just become a stronger pitcher through all of the adversity I’ve had to go through.”
“Sometimes the hardest decisions aren’t the most popular decisions,” Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said. “I think the most important thing is the organization really did have the best interests in mind for the player. And I think sometimes that gets lost in the equation. So I respect the heck out of them for doing that for Stephen.”
Strasburg, along with the rest of the Nationals, are on top of the world as the franchise will bring home their first World Series championship in their 51 year history (which also includes their time as the Expos).
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