Michael Silverman’s headline in the Boston Herald was “Two National Treasures.” He wrote, “It’s rare enough to walk into a ballpark…amped about being able to finally lay eyes on not just one, but two of the best and brightest young talents in the entire game. What’s absolutely unheard of is to have the reality of each blow every expectation you had completely out of the water.
“Harper and Strasburg did just that last night and for the first time in this second century of Fenway Park, an early chapter in the next coffee-table book about this old ballpark was written.”
Gordon Edes, sportswriter for ESPN Boston wrote, “And then there are those very rare, very special nights when even the hype machine fails to give its subjects proper due.
“Strasburg, featuring a fastball that touched 100 mph, a changeup that violated the laws of nature and a curveball bereft of compassion, struck out seven Red Sox in a span of eight batters.”
Edes continued, “Only seven pitchers have fanned 13 or more Sox batters anywhere since 1990, including Mussina and Roger Clemens twice.”
Of Bryce Harper, who had three hits against the Red Sox, including a home run, Edes listed the only three teenagers who have ever hit home runs at Fenway Park, and listed the only two teenagers who have ever had three hits at Fenway Park in the last 72 years. Edes compared Harper to “the Transit of Venus, an astronomical phenomenon that appears, oh, once a century or so.”
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe wrote, “It was the kind of game they’ll tell stories about in years to come.… It was the baseball version of a young Bruce Springsteen at Harvard Square Theatre in 1974.”
As another sportswriter put it, “A freight train confidently conducted by Stephen Strasburg rolled over the Red Sox in his first career start at Fenway Friday Night.”
–By Dale MacIver