QUICK OBSERVATION


  I’m sitting at the U.S.-Cuba semifinal baseball game and San Diego
State right-hander Stephen Strasburg is trying to pitch the Americans into
a gold-medal game.

    It’s obviously a big step up from the Mountain West Conference -- where
Strasburg last season struck out 23 in a one-hitter against Utah -- but he
has handled himself well through the first few innings of a scoreless game
to this point. Strasburg has routinely hit 95 miles per hour the first time
through Cuba’s lineup.

    Who knows how things will go from here today, but one thing is obvious:
If the rest of the Mountain West thought hitting Strasburg was difficult in
2008, it will be that much more taxing in ’09. He has a good chance to be
the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft, which is why scouts from the
Washington Nationals were in Beijing watching.