A lot has changed for the Nationals this season.
They have a new sense of optimism, five legitimate quality starting pitchers and a deep back end of the bullpen with a number of power arms.
But not everything’s changed. Teddy Roosevelt still can’t win a race.
Those hoping the 2012 home opener would serve as Teddy’s first ever win were left disappointed yesterday, when Tom took home the W after a battling it out with Teddy down the stretch.
“What’s the poor guy got to do to get a win?” right fielder Jayson Werth joked following the game. “Great American president. Just a great American, period. The poor guy can’t win, I guess.”
For yesterday, anyway, the race was re-routed down the left field line, making it so Werth couldn’t attempt any of the shenanigans that he pulled out last year in order to try and help Teddy get in the win column. Teddy will just have to get the job done by himself.
Meanwhile, don’t look now, but the Nationals’ starting pitchers haven’t allowed a run since about the time Roosevelt was in office.
Ross Detwiler went five scoreless innings in New York, and Stephen Strasburg followed by throwing six scoreless on Wednesday. Gio Gonzalez went one step better in yesterday’s win over the Reds, tossing seven sparkling innings without allowing a run.
All in all, the Nats’ starters have gone 19 consecutive scoreless frames. Washington’s starting five has an overall ERA of 1.57, having allowed just seven earned runs in 40 2/3 innings.
The ERA of the pitching staff as a whole is 2.18, second-best in the majors behind only the Phillies. They’ve recorded a major league-best 69 strikeouts so far this season, and their batting average against of .193 ranks them second in baseball.
The numbers say it all - this team can throw the heck out of the ball.
Oh, yeah, and manager Davey Johnson will give the ball tonight to Jordan Zimmermann, a guy who allowed just one earned run in seven innings in his season debut.
The hitting isn’t there yet (that 3-for-16 line with the bases loaded isn’t exactly ideal), but given the way the Nats have pitched so far this season, they won’t need a ton of run support. Washington will send a pitcher to the mound every night that’s capable of tossing a gem, and if the bats can provide just a few runs per game, things might be exciting around Nationals Park this season.
And not just because of the Presidents Race.