The Nats put on a clinic this weekend, beating down Red Sox Nation in their own backyard. They were led by timely hitting, game changer Bryce Harper disrupting the Sox psyche, and a pitching staff that continues to roll.
Friday night's one two punch of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper was simply a joy to watch, unless of course you're from Beantown, or a 6'6" radio host from Ashburn, via Lanham. Strasburg's 13 K performance was simply dominating, improving his season record to 7-1, and Harper was a triple away from hitting for the cycle, in just his 35th game in the bigs.
Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and even the very unlucky Jordan Zimmerman, all had solid performances this weekend in the starting roll, and the Nats bullpen continues to be stellar. Tyler Clippard closed and saved all three games at Fenway, and is a flawless 8 for 8 since "the old guy" Davey Johnson made him the Nats closer.
Through 58 games (35-23), the Nats are on a 98 win pace. So impressive are they through just over a third of the season, that they could play .500 ball the rest of the way, and still win 87 games. Its truly amazing, in light of the fact that they're playing without their starting catcher and right fielder. It goes to show the importance of solid arms on a Major League club.
The Nats pitchers continue to have the lowest ERA in all of the majors (2.98), and if recent history is a tell-tale, the Nats and their fans can feel pretty good about making October plans that don't involve tee times.
Over the last 6 years, the teams whose pitching staffs finished tops in the Majors, have a pretty good track record when it comes to making the post season. Those teams beginning with 2011's and working back, were the Phillies, Giants, Dodgers, Blue Jays, Padres, and Tigers.
Of those 6 teams, only one of them did not make the post season, the Blue Jays. The Padres did make a one game playoff, but lost. So that makes 5 of those 6 teams, whose pitching staffs finished numero uno in all of MLB, qualifying to play more than 162 games in that respective year. Of those 5, two of them made the World Series- the Giants and the Tigers, and one of them- the Giants, won it all.
Pic via twitter/recordsANDradio and @BryanHarper45
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