Stephen Strasburg is huge. He's 6-foot-5, 235 pounds. "Running into one" is an actual strategy for someone that size.
And that's part of the reason Strasburg has four career home runs in the major leagues. One came early, two came in the same season, and the most recent forced him into dugout shenanigans. None were expected.
So, today's Nationals trivia question centers on his rare power surges. Who allowed the four home runs to the pitcher?
So, here is a bevy of hints before we will be naming names at the bottom.
May 20, 2012, Nationals Park
Strasburg was in the early portion of his first full season in the league. He made 12 starts in 2010 and just five in 2011.
May 20 was already his ninth start of the season. He dominated in April (1.13 ERA). The Nationals were six games over .500 when he took the mound against Baltimore on a Sunday afternoon.
Strasburg hit an 0-2 pitch into the visitor's bullpen. It was a 75-mph curveball from a left-handed pitcher. And, it was good for back-to-back homers that day. Jesus Flores homered before Strasburg came to the plate.
Bob Carpenter summarized everyone's surprise: "The pitcher has homered."
Strasburg won the Silver Slugger award that season thanks to a robust .759 OPS.
May 5, 2017 at Philadelphia
Strasburg spent the following seasons wondering where his swing went (not really). A .360 OPS followed his 2012 raking. In 2017, he was back over .400 at .401. He hit .130 that season.
But, May 5, Strasburg sent a down-and-in fastball into the center field seats. A 1-2 pitch led to a solo home run.
Aug. 30, 2017, Nationals Park
In the bottom of the fifth, Strasburg dug in against a left-handed Miami pitcher.
The opposing pitcher made the mistake of leaving a fastball up and somewhat in. Strasburg swung first pitch, and hit it out to center field. His third career homer, second that season and last until the middle of 2019.
July 18, 2019, at Atlanta
This bomb caused one of the signature moments of the season.
Inside fastball, 1-0 count, two runners on. Strasburg already had a hit in the inning. He came back up with two outs, then turned on the fastball and sent it deep out of what was SunTrust Park.
The ball cleared the bullpen in left field and landed an estimated 420 feet away. Trea Turner was in the on-deck circle. His head snapped up with astonishment after contact. Before Strasburg made it to third base, Gerardo Parra began assembling the dugout crew. Strasburg would need to dance.
After he crossed home, Adam Eaton smirked at him. Victor Robles, who was on base, jogged by him to get to the back of the dugout where Juan Soto, helmet on because he was three batters away, Parra, Sánchez and Matt Adams waited.
Strasburg danced via left-right, left-right movements, looking like a swerving dump truck. Even he was amused.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 30, 2019
"And to be honest, it was pretty nerve-wracking," Strasburg said with a laugh afterward. "I didn't really have anything. I'm not a big dancer to begin with."
According to the Elias Sports Sports Bureau, Strasburg became just the fifth pitcher in the last 50 years to record two hits in an inning including a homer, and first since Edwin Jackson on April 11, 2010. No Nationals/Expos pitcher had ever had two hits in a single inning before Strasburg.
That particular opposing pitcher gave up five home runs in 41 ⅔ innings in 2019. The others to hit home runs off him:
So, who are the four pitchers to ignominiously be victimized by Strsasburg? Here they are, in chronological order:
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Nationals trivia: Who did Stephen Strasburg hit his four home runs against? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington