Washington Nationals: Starting Pitching Key to Successful Stretch Run
The Washington Nationals completed the sweep against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday with a 4-2 win. Throughout the entire series, Washington benefited greatly from solid starting pitching. Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, and Doug Fister pitched eight, seven and seven innings respectively. Nevermind the fact that the Phillies are one of the worst offensive teams in all of baseball, the numbers are still impressive. The Nationals are ranked fourth in the MLB in ERA, while the Phillies are ranked 26th in runs scored, so it’s not such a surprise that the Nats swept Philadelphia with ease.
It is clear that if the Nationals are to sustain any kind of success this season, they will depend heavily on their excellent pitching staff. Starting pitching is the best foundation to putting a winning team on the field. With the depth that the Nationals have in their rotation, there is a good possibility that this team can win the NL East crown and make a deep postseason run.
The team appears to have turned a corner at the right time. Their hitting has been steadily improving recently, and they should receive a nice boost when Bryce Harper returns, whether that be after the All-Star break or not remains to be seen.
Four Washington starters have ERAs under four at this point and after a rough start to the season for the rotation as a whole, it is quite possible that their ERAs could drop even further. The team has all the right pieces in place to be one of the most feared teams in the National League right now.