September 17, 2021

Sarris: Why Stephen Strasburg is throwing the two-seamer again, and what the Astros can do about it (The Athletic)

Everything old is new again. Stephen Strasburg once had a great two-seamer; then it went away for years. Now he has his two-seamer back. It’s a big part of why he’s just had the best season of his career and is stepping to the mound for his team in a critical Game Six of the World Series tonight.

The league has been throwing fewer and fewer two-seamers every year, and for the most part, Strasburg has been part of that trend. Between 2010 and 2018, he cut his usage of the pitch in half. In 2017, at least one site had him throwing zero two-seamers. But this year, something changed for the Nationals right-hander, and he nearly set a career-high in two-seamer usage.

Figuring out why Strasburg pulled that trick this year could provide the Astros with a game plan against the righty.

Last season, Strasburg faced more patient lineups than he’d seen in the past five years. Batters were swinging less, and it probably made sense to come up with some…

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