The Washington Nationals did the unthinkable Thursday night as they shut out the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, beating the club 3-0.
Craig Stammen entered the game winless in the first five starts of his career, but by the time the night was over he would end up with six shutout innings and a celebratory pie in the face for his first win.
Stammen was dominant through six and a third innings, allowing only six hits with no walks and two strikeouts. He relied on his fastball, throwing only nine breaking pitches all night, and pounded the strike zone against one of the best line-ups in baseball, serving them their first shutout in this new home stadium ever.
In the last five starts the Nationals young starters have a 2.3 ERA. The rotations success is starting to turn some heads, as the oldest member, John Lannan, is only 24 years of age.
“We’re like best friends all five us,” Stammen said about the rotation. “We all get a long and try to get each other better.”
One can only imagine what the future holds for this rotation, as Stammen, Detwiler, and Zimmerman are only expected to improve greatly. Not to mention, a certain top prospect pitcher is expected to join the rotation at the start of next season.
The Nationals pitching staff, which leading into this month was widely accepted as the wrost in baseball, ranks 12th in the MLB in team ERA for the month of June with a 3.82 ERA. In the last month the National’s ostracized bullpen ranks 17th in the MLB in ERA allowing 4.01 runs per nine innings pitched.
In the last seven days, the Washington Nationals bullpen ranks third in the Major Leagues, and first in the National League, with a 3.06 ERA.
With this solid pitching, the Nats have something they haven’t seen for the first time since early May, a winning streak. This victory marks only the second time all season the Nats have won consecutive games. Hopefully it becomes a trend.