Washington Nationals Reaction: Nats Getting it Done with the Glove
The Rotation is Just Plain Filthy
Speaking of that rotation, they may be a year late, but the Nats’ starting pitchers are finally living up to the expectations laid on their shoulders prior to last season. Their 3.06 ERA ranks only second to otherworldly Chicago Cubs (2.38). They’re tied with Toronto for the most quality starts (37) in the MLB. Still not convinced? Only three teams have used just five starters all season: Cubs, Cardinals, and Nationals.
The Nats were the first team to reach 500 strikeouts. Eight teams still have yet to hit 400. Despite having the leader in home runs allowed in Max Scherzer, the rotation has only allowed 38 balls to leave the yard. That mark is the tenth fewest in all of baseball.
Scherzer has been streaky this season, but has shown flashes of dominance. To that point, he’s thrown seven innings or more in seven of his twelve starts. Stephen Strasburg is 9-0 and neck-and-neck with Max for the team lead in strikeouts. The former No. 1 overall selection is showing the Nationals why they made the right choice with their draft pick.
Can any team in the league match the quality and depth of their back-end starters with the Nats? Not likely. Gio Gonzalez isn’t striking out batters like he used to, but the lefty has taken a new approach to the game and it’s clearly paying off. Joe Ross has the eighth lowest ERA in the senior circuit, and he’s only 23-years old. Not to be forgotten is Tanner Roark, who’s ERA is nearly identical to Strasburg’s.
Who gets pushed to the bullpen in a playoff series? Thankfully, that question doesn’t have to be answered right now. And with Lucas Giolito tearing it up in the minors, well, it’s a good problem for Dusty Baker to have.
Next: Bottom of the Lineup Putting in Work