Feb 6, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT
USA Today Sports Images
Stephen Strasburg has never reached the eighth inning in 45 career starts.
As good as the Nationals' rotation was last season — it posted the NL's best ERA at 3.40 while yielding the league's lowest batting average at .240 — the unit was perhaps not as dominant as it could have been for one simple reason.
Davey Johnson rarely let his starters pitch deep into games.
Despite their fantastic numbers, Nationals starters actually threw only the 18th-most innings among all big-league rotations, averaging only 5.88 innings per outing. That's because Johnson let his starter take the mound for the eighth inning only eight times in 162 games.
And all of those starts were made by either Edwin Jackson (five times) or Gio Gonzalez (three times).
There was a clear method to Johnson's use of his staff. With soRead 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.
- Deconstructing the Nationals' game-winning rally
- Gio Gonzalez pulled from Nats' win with left shoulder tightness
- LaRoche's walk-off hit saves Nationals from sweep vs. Angels
- Former Senators pitcher Connie Marrero passes away
- Injury updates on Zimmerman and Hairston
- Baseball in the District: Thom Loverro of ESPN 980 talks Nats
- Gio, Nationals try to avoid getting swept by Angels
- Nationals Stock Watch: Harper has rough week
- How secure is struggling Jordan's rotation spot?
- Pujols gets 500th, Nats fall to Angels