May 17, 2012, 2:36 PM EDT
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.
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THU: 2:30 p.m.
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