Win worth wait
Strasburg reigns after long delay
BEIJING - Not even a downpour or a protest could spoil the Olympic debut of the lone college kid on the United States baseball team - even if he had to wait 6 1/2 hours to finally get the win.
Stephen Strasburg carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and struck out 11 yesterday, helping the Americans to a 7-0, rain-shortened victory over the Netherlands. This was a welcome result for a US team coming off a tough opening loss.
Strasburg, who pitches for San Diego State, said this was the longest he's had to wait for a victory.
"I just tried to go out and make quality pitches, that's it," he said. "I didn't really think about, 'Oh, I have a no-hitter.' "
The game was called after eight innings following a second rain delay, the warning tracks looking more like wading pools and the outfield too soggy to continue. The Dutch protested the decision because they had loaded the bases in the ninth inning with no outs. But the protest was denied by baseball's international federation.
The players waited in their dugouts and eventually shook hands afterward. The Dutch chose not to appeal the ruling.
"I'm glad they called it when they did," US manager Davey Johnson said. "We've got Cuba [today]. It was the right decision. Normally we shouldn't have started [again] when we did because the mound was unpitchable and my guy got into some trouble and he was slipping and sliding. It wasn't a good situation."
The other morning game, the China-South Korea matchup, was suspended with no score in the bottom of the sixth and will resume Sunday. In later games yesterday, Cuba beat Canada, 7-6, and Japan beat Taiwan, 6-1.
The Dutch (0-2) are managed by Robert Eenhoorn, an infielder who played briefly for the New York Yankees in the 1990s. The Netherlands is still looking for its first run of these Games after a 5-0 loss to Taiwan Wednesday.
Strasburg retired the first 13 batters and didn't surrender a hit until Sharnol Adriana singled to right with one out in the seventh.