In the past few years, the Washington Nationals have had starting pitchers put together some staggering numbers from the pitching mound. Which season stands out as the best in team history?
Since they became relevant to the playoff race in 2012, the Washington Nationals have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with backed by dominant starting pitching. While the club has yet to see one of their own enshrined as the Cy Young Award winner, they have certainly had pitchers that made their way into the conversation.
This season, it is Max Scherzer who will be on the baseball writers’ minds when casting their ballot for the yearly award. The National League strikeout leader has undoubtedly been the ace of the Nats’ staff in 2016, but where does his season rank in team history?
In the 12 years that the team has called D.C. home, 29 pitchers have qualified for the ERA title while donning the Curly W. 18 of those starters finished the season with a WAR of at least 3.0, but only five of them did it prior to 2012. With all due to respect to John Patterson, Esteban Loaiza, John Lannan, and Livan Hernandez, the best seasons by Washington Nationals pitchers came once the team began to compete.
So where does Mad Max’s 2016 stack up against the rest? Will Stephen Strasburg, who signed a seven-year, $175 million contract extension this season, make the cut? Let’s take a look at which starting pitchers have put together the best single-season in Nats history.