Washington Nationals Have the Best Pitching Staff in 23 Years
In his tweet, Kilgore pointed out that the Nationals have the potential to become the first team in 23 years to post a team-ERA below 3.00. After Edwin Jackson's gem on Saturday night, the team's ERA is down to 2.96.
The 1989 Los Angeles Dodgers were the last team to accomplish this feat in 1989. Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser anchored that strong staff. Valenzuela's ERA of 3.43 was relatively pedestrian, while Hershiser's ERA of 2.31 was fantastic.
The Nationals' pitching staff is "insane," and there's a really good chance that they will be able to continue this through the rest of the season (via Nats Insider).
The starting rotation has been ridiculous. Stephen Strasburg owns a 2.46 ERA. Gio Gonzalez owns a 2.55 ERA. Jordan Zimmermann owns a 2.89 ERA. Ross Detwiler owns a 3.34 ERA. Jackson owns a 2.91 ERA.
It's really hard to get much better than that.
The bullpen has been equally as strong, despite early season blunders from fill-in-closer Henry Rodriguez.
Tyler Clippard owns a 1.95 ERA. Tom Gorzelanny owns a 3.55 ERA. Sean Burnett owns a 1.04 ERA. Craig Stammen owns a 1.50 ERA. Mike Gonzalez has yet to allow a run. The bullpen as a whole has been lights out.
Oddly enough, the Dodgers finished in fourth place in the NL West in 1989 at 77-83. Even their pitching was not enough to make up for an abysmal offense.
The Nationals are still in first place in the NL East, so there's no reason for anybody to worry just yet. If we see a few rough starts in back-to-back games, though, we may see some people looking back to the overall success of the 1989 Dodgers team.
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