Nationals Pitching Somehow Gets Even Better As They Win NL Best 13th Game

The Washington Nationals beat the San Diego Padres 3-1 on Tuesday night, and the team improved to 13-4 on the season. The common theme continued to be remarkable pitching. Gio Gonzalez spun another gem: six innings, no runs, two hits, six Ks, two walks. The only reason Gonzalez was pulled after six was because he came up in the batting order, and the team needed runs desperately, yet again. This time, Chad Tracy came through with a two RBI single in the seventh. That proved to be all the Nats needed to earn the best record in the National League.

I’m really running out of new words to describe the sheer ridiculousness of the Nationals pitching staff, but I’ll try once more. After Gio’s outstanding outing, four of the Nats five starters have ERAs at 1.52 or lower. The outlier is Edwin Jackson, but if you remove the one bad five-run inning against the Astros from consideration, he would have an equally impressive 2.00 ERA. The bullpen has been shut down good, and the Nats continue to ride high through April.

Some Thoughts:

- Craig Stammen got knocked around a bit for the first time this season, and he got the quick hook from Davey Johnson after walking a batter and giving up a single to his first two batters. Tyler Clippard gave up the run that was charged to Stammen, but it wasn’t earned. I’m still not worried about Stammen, and I think he’ll be just fine in long relief.

- Can we all agree that Mark DeRosa has no business hitting third in a major league line up? He’s hitting .091. Seriously. I don’t expect many of you reading will disagree with this, but something has to be fixed here. I’d rather see almost anyone else there than DeRosa at this point.

- Henry Rodriguez’ 88 mph change up against Orlando Hudson in the ninth may have been one of the most disgusting pitches I’ve ever seen. When you combine that with his ability to throw his fastball in the triple digits with command, it’s easy to see why he’s had such incredible success. It might be a while before we see Brad Lidge closing another game.

Joe Drugan

About Joe Drugan

Joe is the Managing Editor of The Nats Blog and host of the Nats Talk On The Go podcast. He's been blogging about the Nationals since 2010 and with The Nats Blog since 2011.