With the trade deadline coming up and the second half of the regular season well under way, the MLB world is buzzing as pitchers are providing plenty of heat and entertainment on the mound.
Several teams are relying on the pitchers and their sharp delivery. Top performers are racking up strikeouts, lowering their ERAs and giving the fans a show.
Home runs and rookie superstars are always exciting but it's pitching performance that is gaining the most attention this season.
And there are five MLB pitchers who are red hot in the league right now.
After a hyped up debut and then sitting out a year due to Tommy John surgery, Strasburg returned this season with a cannon of an arm. And it's exactly what Nationals fans have been waiting for.
Finally, a winning team in the Capital.
The Nationals have claimed their spot at the top of the NL East for most of the regular season so far and they credit much of their success to their pitchers.
A usually calm and quiet Strasburg has caused quite a commotion among fans. And his arm says it all.
After his health scare in Atlanta and the constant talk of coaches limiting his innings, Strasburg is not without his share of struggles this season. But let’s call those minor hiccups along the way. Strasburg is one of the top pitchers in the MLB with an ERA of 2.76 and a record of 11-4.
It’s only fitting that Strasburg is a red-hot starting pitcher for the Nationals who are the surprisingly hot team in the league right now.
The Nats swept the Mets after Strasburg’s 11 strikeouts. His performance against the New York Mets on July 24th was enough to prove that Strasburg is on fire and doesn’t show signs of stopping.
Gio Gonzalez came to Washington at a perfect time. Gonzalez switched coasts and left the Oakland Athletics to try his hand at National League ball.
And it’s safe to say that the Nationals couldn’t be happier.
The Nationals have a powerful weapon in their pitching rotation, which has been responsible for keeping them at the top of the NL East.
Gio Gonzalez made his debut with Nationals this season and won over the fans right away.
Gonzalez is often described as the team jokester and that translates well for him on the mound. He exhibits a calm demeanor, performing with a sharp and striking delivery. No pun intended.
Gonzalez has a record of 13-5 and a 3.13 ERA. The hot-shot pitcher is bringing wins to Washington and helping the Nats to be the breakout team this season.
After Matt Cain’s perfect game in mid-July, we were all caught looking.
It was the first perfect game for Cain’s career and for the San Francisco Giants franchise.
Cain’s pitching performance this season has been incredibly helpful for the Giants who are at the top of the NL West and two games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Giants were also seeing much frustration throughout the first half of the season with struggling performances from Tim Lincecum.
The Giants have enjoyed having Cain on the mound.
In the past 10 games, Cain has not allowed more than five runs. He is currently ranked No. 10 in the MLB pitching standings with a record of 10-3 and a 2.74 ERA.
Kyle Lohse has been overlooked and underestimated but rest assured he is a solid pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The last time he pitched was on July 20th when the Cards beat the Chicago Cubs 4-1. Lohse was the winning pitcher for the night with a 10-2 overall record and lowering his ERA to 2.71.
In his past few appearances on the mound, he has pitched for seven innings and allowed no more than two runs per game.
Lohse is a seasoned veteran player with 11 years of experience and he is putting up some of his best numbers so far.
Cardinal red suits Lohse very well. Fans should expect to see more red-hot delivery from him through the rest of the season.
Chris Sale seems very much like Chicago’s version of Stephen Strasburg. Both pitchers have two full years of experience and both are being closely monitored by coaches to limit their innings.
Sale has a lot to offer on the mound. He has a 2.37 ERA and a record of 11-3.
Although he just faced a tough 1-7 loss to the Detroit Tigers, for the most part Sale is only allowing one or two runs and pitching for seven to eight innings. Not bad for an fairly new pitcher in the league.
And when Sale strikes them out, he makes sure of it. He’s got a rocket of an arm and has showed amazing capabilities.
The lanky and quiet Sale (again, very reminiscent of Strasburg) is anything but that once he gets on the mound. He's fiercely aggressive and always picking apart his performance.
The White Sox have less depth in the pitching rotation than the Nationals so there’s a little more pressure on Sale to work for a hot streak.
The White Sox will definitely need him to be a solid and consistent pitcher in the rotation to help the team lead their division.
And he will be.
Sale will be a key factor for the White Sox to clinch first place in the AL Central.