How could it be, that the the one-time savior of the Washington Nationals is now the weakest of the starting five pitchers?
Unfortunately for the strike-out king, that is the case.
SP Stephen Strasburg could not go the distance Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. He gave up seven earned runs through only four and two-thirds innings pitched.
Now that Gio Gonzalez is back in the starting rotation, Strasburg is fighting to remain relevant. Although he has the most strike outs of any Nationals pitcher with 123, hitters are having a field-day against Strasburg. He has the highest WHIP of any of the starting five along with the highest batting average against at .269.
Even if Strasburg takes some time to figure things out though, the Nationals will be okay. The team is now ranked first in the MLB in terms of team earned run average.
The Nationals do however need all of their starting five healthy and able to go at least five or six innings a game if they intend to make a playoff run this year. The two issues that the team has to be concerned with when it comes to pitching are, Strasburg keeping the team in the game, and all of the starting five remaining healthy.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but the harsh reality is that Strasburg has only ever won more than eight games once in his career. In 2012, he went 15-6 for the Nationals and recorded the most strike outs of his now five-year career. The hype surrounding Strasburg will continue to die down if he continues to not produce.
Nationals fans will look to pitchers like Tanner Roark and Doug Fister in the meantime to carry the weight and possibly take over control of the franchise’s future if Strasburg does not piece his game back together.