Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler are the names of the five men that currently make up the Washington Nationals’ pitching rotation – a rotation that has led the team to the best record in all of baseball at 69-43.
With that caliber of pitching, it should come as no surprise that on August 10, with just 50 games remaining on the Nationals’ regular-season schedule, their pitching staff leads most others in many categories. Where they do not lead, they are not far behind.
Here are some of the categories in which the Nationals’ pitching staff ranks first: ERA (3.23), quality starts (73), earned runs allowed (367), runs allowed (395) and opponents’ batting average (.232). They rank second in saves with 38 and third in strikeouts with 927.
For those who prefer the less-than-traditional stats, the Nationals rank first in FIP (3.53), first in BABIP (.277), second in left on base percentage (76.3 percent) and fourth in WAR (15.4).
Considering the fact that the pitching staff has been building those numbers consistently since opening day, it is not surprising at all to see the team in first place. What is surprising, however, is the fact that a Nationals batting order that has been unhealthy since day one has grown more and more potent as the season progresses. Continue reading