Opening day has come and gone, now teams are into regular season games without the festivities. However, Wednesday the Washington Nationals played just as well as opening day, beating the Miami Marlins, 3-0.
Gio Gonzalez was able to pitch six shutout innings with two hits and five strikeouts. Additionally the starting pitcher contributed to the Nationals win with his bat. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the left hander crushed a homer to left field.
The shutout win for Gonzalez comes on the heels of an outstanding pitching performance on Monday night from their ace, Stephen Strasburg. On opening day, Strasburg pitched seven shutout innings, surrendering only three hits and striking out three.
Although the Marlins are far from the best team in the league, the Nationals are proving to Major League Baseball they are serious contenders this season and the main reason will be pitching. With one of the best starting rotations, consisting of Strasburg, Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren and Ross Detwiler, the team is setup for a big number of wins.
The Nationals have played two games this season and have yet to surrender a run. Besides the offense output from start outfielder Bryce Harper and a homer from Gonzalez, the Nationals have been relying on their well put together starting rotation and shutdown bullpen.
If they want to continue winning, the Nationals will need more offensive output from their roster, but have a since of calm with the way their pitching has been. After taking Strasburg and Gonzalez out of their games respectively, the Nats have been able to send out anyone from their bullpen to come in and shut their opponent down.
Thursday night, Zimmermann will get his chance at the Marlins and is hoping for a similar result as Gonzalez and Strasburg.