Apr 25, 2011, 3:09 PM EDT
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Jason Marquis talked his way into finishing the sixth inning yesterday.
PITTSBURGH — There's a stat about the Nationals' pitching staff — how their starter has gone at least five innings in every game this season, something no other rotation in the majors has done — that keeps getting cited. (Full disclosure: I'm one of the ones who keeps citing it.)
It's not an entirely meaningless stat. If nothing else, it shows you the Nats have yet to receive one legitimately sub-par outing from a starting pitcher this season. But it also leaves out an important point: Just because they're lasting at least five innings doesn't mean they're pitching deep into these games.
Indeed, only six times in 20 games has a Nationals starter thrown even one pitch in the seventh inning. Livan Hernandez (to the surprise of no one) has three of those six starts. Jason Marquis has two; Jordan Zimmermann has one; John Lannan and Tom Gorzelanny have yet to do it.
Jim Riggleman has talked about the need for his starters to go deeper in games, but the manager's actions suggest he still doesn't have complete faith in all of his starters to do it, particularly the youngerRead more »
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