They aren't quite out of the woods yet. This is their "no break" part of the schedule and they go from Baltimore, to Colorado, to Atlanta. It's not a question of wearing out the bullpen, the pitching is too good for that to be an issue, but it is still a trying and tiring trip. Anything 3-4 or better (not involving an Atlanta sweep of the Nats) should be seen as a positive end.
Why are the Nats doing so well? Pitching, followed by pitching, then more pitching. Their top 4 starters all have an ERA of under 3.00. The back of their bullpen all have ERAs under 2.00. Here is the breakdown of runs given up during this stretch
>=8 - 0 times
7 - 1
6 - 2
5 - 4
4 - 5
3 - 7
2 - 10
1 - 2
0 - 1
They've given up 2 runs 10 times in 32 games. That's fantastical! If the Nats scored 3 runs a game, every game, which would be the lowest scoring offense the game has seen since the expansion Padres over 40 years ago, they would have gone no worse than 13-19 during this stretch. Say they win 3 of those 3 run games in extra-innings or something? That's 16-16. Basically the offense has to do nothing and the Nats are a .500 team. Unfortunately the offense is seemingly taking that to heart but whatever, as long as the Nats pitching holds they are no worse than .500 and .500 from here on out makes the playoffs.
- We'll go more into the sustainability of the awesome pitching later this week (preview : it'll get a little worse but probably not enough to matter) but there is one guy that you can always count on. Strasburg. His xFIP (fancy stat trying to rip out all luck from pitching results) is 2.39 which is the best in a decade. He's that good.
- Speaking of phenoms, the Mike Trout vs Bryce Harper debate looks lopsided offensively (Mike has a better AVG, OBP and SLG than Bryce) but Trout is propped up by a .394 BABIP. He's fast but that should drop and the slight advantage Bryce has in patience and power will be more apparent. (Of course Trout is a plus fielder who also is tied for the AL lead in SB but we'll worry about that argument when it's the proper time)
- In the past 28 days the team is hitting .223. Past 14? .210. Past 7? .188.
- In the past 7 days here are the regulars who are hitting well :
- Here are the regulars who are getting on base well : Bryce Harper
- Here are the regulars who are slugging well :
- The 2010 Giants is an interesting comparison to make but in all fairness, both the Nats pitching and the Giants hitting are demonstrably better than their counterparts.