Washington Nationals All-Star ace Stephen Strasburg went eight innings during Friday night's 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing one earned run and just three hits while striking out six to improve to 13-0 on the season.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Strasburg is the fifth pitcher since 1956 to start a season 13-0 or better. Three of those pitchers went on to win the Cy Young Award the year they accomplished the feat, including his current teammate Max Scherzer, who won the award in 2013 as a member of the Detroit Tigers:
Strasburg is the only player to have hit the 13-0 mark in the National League.
While the individual success is a good omen for Strasburg's trophy case, it's also a good omen for the Nationals, as most of the teams those pitchers played for saw some form of success in the fall:
|Final Stats for Pitchers Who Began Season at 13-0|
|Pitcher||Team||Year||Final Win-Loss Record||Team Season Result|
|Dave McNally||Baltimore Orioles||1969||20-7||AL Champions, Lost World Series|
|Ron Guidry||New York Yankees||1978||25-3||AL Champions, Won World Series|
|Roger Clemens||Boston Red Sox||1986||24-4||AL Champions, Lost World Series|
|Max Scherzer||Detroit Tigers||2013||21-3||Lost ALCS|
Friday's outing also lowered Strasburg's ERA from 2.62 to 2.51, moving him up to sixth-best in the major leagues.
It's not the only category he's among the big leagues' best in, either:
|Stephen Strasburg 2016 Rankings|
Strasburg is also getting plenty of help from his offense when he takes the hill, which has made his 13-0 mark somewhat easier to attain. According to ESPN.com, he's receiving 6.41 runs per start, which is fourth-best in the major leagues.
He's already two wins away from his career high of 15 victories, though it took him 28 starts to get to that number in 2012, compared to the 17 he's made in 2016.
If history suggests anything, it's that Strasburg will have to maintain this kind of excellence deep into October. And that's something Nationals fans, and probably Strasburg, would like to see even more than an undefeated record in July.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.