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It starts with the starters

Apr 19, 2010, 3:07 PM EST

Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
After two rough starts to his season, John Lannan rebounded Friday night.

Two weeks and 12 games into the season, it's pretty obvious what dictates the Nationals' fortunes more than anything else: starting pitching.

Not that this doesn't apply to just about every team in baseball, but it's been particularly significant to the Nats thus far. With no real exceptions, this club's fate on a given night can be tied directly to the performance of its starting pitcher.

Let's look at each game, with the starter's final line and the end result…

Apr 5 Lannan 3.2 ip, 5 er L, 11-1
Apr 7 Marquis 4 ip, 6 er L, 8-4
Apr 8 Stammen 5 ip, 4 er W, 6-5
Apr 9 Mock 3.1 ip, 2 er L, 8-2
Apr 10 Lannan 5 ip, 3 er W, 4-3
Apr 11 Hernandez 7 ip, 0 er W, 5-2
Apr 12 Marquis 4.1 ip, 6 er L, 7-4
Apr 14 Stammen 1.1 ip, 7 er L, 14-7
Apr 15 Olsen 5.2 ip, 4 er W, 7-5
Apr 16 Lannan 7 ip, 2 er W, 5-3
Apr 17 Hernandez 9 ip, 0 er W, 8-0
Apr 18 Marquis 0 ip, 7 er L, 11-7

So, the Nationals have gotten three quality starts so far in 12 games (two by Livo, one by Lannan) and won all three of those games. Their three other wins came when their starter went at least five inningsRead more »

  1. Scott - Apr 19, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    Stoked for tonight's game. Haven't been to the stadium since that LOVELY opening day.

  2. Bote Man - Apr 19, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    I'm no math whiz, but it looks to me like the Nats have a fighting chance to win when their starting pitching doesn't stink to high heaven.I wonder how the Front Office will employ this information?

  3. Pat - Apr 19, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    I wonder how Marquis will like living in Syracuse….

  4. Dre - Apr 19, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    all the more reason to be excited about the call-up of Strasburg and the return of Zimmermann

  5. Steven J. Berke - Apr 19, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    This is because this year's Nats can hit. I remember three years ago when Shawn Hill (remember him?) had about a dozen quality starts and the Nats won about half of them because that team couldn't hit its way out of a paper bag (scored 672 runs, dead last in the NL). This team can sure hit and score runs, and can defend at least adequately, so it can hold its own if it gets even decent, let alone stellar, pitching.

  6. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2010 at 5:10 PM

    Marquis is really making Rizzo's decision easy when its time to call Strasburg up.

  7. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - Apr 19, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Expanding on Berke's comment, the collapse of John Patterson and Shawn Hill's carrers due to long term injuries, set back the NATS progress two to three seasons.

  8. Aeoliano - Apr 19, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    With the exception of Hernandez all the starters are making it a pretty sure bet that Strasburg and Storen will be front and center in earl June. And maybe some others to boot.

  9. Aeoliano - Apr 19, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    "Expanding on Berke's comment, the collapse of John Patterson and Shawn Hill's carrers due to long term injuries,"AND Jordan Zimmermann.

  10. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    two loses while scoring 7 runs, two loses while scoring 4 runs. Decent pitching should win with that kind of offense.

  11. B.R. - Apr 19, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Yep, can't forget Wang and Detwiler returning in early June, plus we will likely see flashes of guys like Atilano and Martin.

  12. Steven J. Berke - Apr 19, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    FAR too soon to say that Jordan Zimmermann's career has collapsed. Patterson and Hill could not come back from their injury problems; we have yet to see about JZimm (quite a few do come back successfully from TJ surgery).

  13. PDowdy83 - Apr 19, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Aeoliano has got to be a relative of peric. Spitting out the same nonsense all the time.Zimmermann has had one injury and is ahead of schedule on his rehab. No reason to compare him to Patterson and Hill who had MULTIPLE injuries each.Also you can add Lannan to the list with Livo. His first game was terrible but he was squeezed some in the game in New York and pitched really well against the Brewers. Looks like the Lannan of old to me.

  14. Anonymous - Apr 19, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    As once said by Dirty Harry…now if they'll only wait til the cavalry arrives. We need a little luck to get thru the rest of April and May. JTinSC

  15. SilverSpring8 - Apr 19, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    Nats' record when allowing < 6 runs: 6-0.Nats' record when allowing > 6 runs: 0-6.I think I see a trend.

  16. Arlington BigFish - Apr 19, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    According to this morning's Post (am I allowed to mention that here?) Riggleman says Marquis is not leaving the rotation. Apparently, his contract says he can't be sent down?

  17. Aeoliano - Apr 19, 2010 at 8:01 PM

    PDowdy83 has to be a relative of Homer J. Simpson because of the radioactive rod for a brain he keeps in his back pocket next to his butt. More nonsensical than nonsense especially when one cannot ever read? And reading is fundamental.Gee knucklehead, what would the starting rotation look like right now with Jordan Zimmermann in it instead of well, say Marquis? To use Rizzo's own words the guy is worth his weight in gold. Difficult to find and next to impossible to trade for. It is likely he will be out for at least a year and a half due to Tommy John's. With rehab and trying to get his pitching back its TWO YEARS. RIGHT? Oh I forgot your parents never taught you how to tell time? Let's see the big hand ….





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