It’s a big day in D.C. sports history

The Nationals have been based in Washington since 2005. Since then, they’ve managed to finish dead last in the NL East every year outside of 2007, when they shocked the masses by finishing fourth.

Outside of Ryan Zimmerman, the only other player the Nationals’ fan base could call a “star” was Dmitri Young, which is like saying Paul Walker is the star in his movies – any movie.

But tonight at 7:05PM ET at Nationals Park, the fans will have a new star – a legit star, to root for in young phenom Stephen Strasburg. The 2009 No. 1 overall pick will make his major league debut tonight against the Pirates in what will undoubtedly be a packed house in Washington D.C.

The media in Washington has been trying to get the fans to temper their expectations of tonight for the last couple of months. But that’s impossible for a fan base that has sat through horrid season after horrid season since 2005. They deserve to think the world of Strasburg, even though expectations should be kept at bay. He’s an incredible prospect, but he’s just that: a prospect. He has even admitted that he hasn’t proven anything yet.

In just over 55 innings and 11 starts in the minor leagues this year, Strasburg struck out 65 batters while walking only 13 and posting a 1.30 ERA. He has been so dominant that even if the Nats wanted to prolong his stay in the minors, they would have no reason to. Calling him up after June 4 allowed the club to delay the start of his arbitration clock, meaning the only reason to keep him in the minors would be so he could work on his game. And his game looks fine as is.

So June 8, 2010 it is. When Strasburg takes the bump tonight, all eyes will be firmly planted on No. 37. Whether he’s ready for the big moment is not really important. What is important is that his day is finally here.

D.C. sports fans’ day is finally here.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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