Stephen Strasburg Could Use Some Reciprocated Support From Washington Nationals

By Thom Tsang
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg isn’t exactly pitcher who needs a whole lot of help, but no man is an island, and it’d probably be nice if someone got his back once in a while.

Better yet, if his Washington Nationals teammates could do it, maybe the phenom could finally get back to being a winning pitcher. Of course, that’s not to say that the right-hander isn’t a good pitcher, but as most baseball fans should be aware of by now, a good pitcher and a winning one are two different things, and the fact that Strasburg remains a losing starter in 2013 is indicative of a rather one-sided relationship.

Take his latest outing on Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers, for instance.

Having dominated the Brew Crew through seven innings of scoreless, three-hit ball with four free passes and eight strikeouts, Strasburg could only watch in the dugout as he was hit with the hardest of hard luck decisions, caused by a double whammy of nonexistent run support and a bullpen implosion (thanks to Drew Storen).

The Nats wound up being shut out 4-0 to fall to 42-41, while keeping the 24-year-old ace’s record to 4-6 on the season.

And if you think this is the first time that he’s been abandoned by this team, well … think again. Over his last 10 outings on the season dating back to May 11, Strasburg has allowed more than one earned run just one time. Six of those starts have been of the quality variety, and he owns a 1.28/0.95 ERA/WHIP in that span.

But as for the good ol’ win-loss numbers? Oh, he’s just 3-2, that’s all.

Now, I suppose that the the old-school counting numbers aren’t actually going to matter a whole lot to Stras; but aside from the team showing a serious case of abandonment issues with one of their trio of aces, the W-L record represents wasted opportunities for the team.

In short, this is a Nats squad that should be benefiting from Strasburg’s 1.9 fWAR thus far, instead of finding ways to throw the opportunities down the drain.

How? That’s easy. If they could just take some of the 4.71 runs of support they give to Jordan Zimmermann and put it towards Stras’ league-worst 2.44 … well, at least it’s simple on paper, anyway.

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