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April: Encouraging/discouraging

Apr 30, 2012, 2:13 PM EDT

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Gio Gonzalez is one of four Nats starters with a sub-2.00 ERA.

After a rough trip out west that ended with four consecutive losses to the Padres and Dodgers, the Nationals are enjoying a much-needed day of rest. Here at the Insider, of course, there's no such thing as rest. (Those of you with children know what I'm talking about.)

So let's use this off-day, as well as the fact it's the final day of the month, to take a look at both the encouraging and discouraging developments of the season to date…

ENCOURAGING: The Nationals rotation has been, plain and simple, awesome. We're running out of superlatives to describe this group of starters, so let's just run through the stats. The rotation's collective ERA now stands at 1.78 (the Cardinals rank second in the majors at 2.57). Opponents are hitting .186 against Nationals starters. They rank second in the league with 129 strikeouts while issuing the second-fewest walks in the league (32). In 16 of 22 games to date, Nationals starters have surrendered zero or one earned run.

DISCOURAGING: Despite all those sparkling numbers, the Nationals' rotation has a collective record of 8-4. That's what happens whenRead more »

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