May 17, 2012, 2:36 PM EST
US Presswire file photo
Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez are baseball's best 1-2 strikeout tandem.
The mostly uninspiring history of the Nationals is littered with pitchers whose mission was simple: Keep the ball down in the zone, induce groundballs and pray their defense could finish the job.
It was called "pitching to contact," and while the theory behind it was sound, it was in some ways an indictment of the "stuff" these guys were taking to the mound with them. Hey, if your fastball barely cracks the 90-mph mark, you're probably not going to be producing many swings and misses.
Now consider this year's staff, loaded with power arms. Suddenly, the idea of pitching to contact seems passe. Sure, groundballs are nice. But strikeouts are even nicer.
Especially when you can boast the top two strikeout pitchers in the National League.
Yep, take a look at the current NL pitching leaderboard. Topping the list: Gio Gonzalez with 60 strikeouts. Right behind him: Stephen StrasburgRead more »
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Significant moment No. 4: Ryan Zimmerman tears his hamstring
- Significant moment No. 5: The kids step up
- Nationals sign Uggla to minor-league deal
- Significant moment No. 6: Nats win 10 in a row
- Jimmy Rollins: Phillies have missed Werth since he signed with Nats
- Significant moment No. 7: Williams benches Harper
- Significant moment No. 8: Span breaks hit record
- Nats sign veteran infielder Stewart to minor deal
- Ex-Nats pitcher Haren really doesn't want to pitch for the Marlins
- Significant moment No. 9: Soriano out, Storen in