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 »
NL EAST STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 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
- Where the Nats stand at the quarter pole
- Mark Zuckerman gives his take on Harper, Williams ejections
- Harper stories from his college teammate, Chasen Shreve
- Scherzer on his start, chocolate sauce & Harper-Miggy
- That time Stephen Strasburg was on Letterman
- After shaky 1st inning, Zimmermann cruises
- Nationals Stock Watch: Other hot bats besides Harper
- Hershey's pitches in to help Nationals continue sweet celebrations
- Harper, Williams strongly disagree with ejections from win vs. Yankees
- Harper and Williams ejected again, Nats rally again