Last night, the Nats got a great start out of Tom Gorzelanny, 8 innings of shutout ball to go with a complete game shutout pitched by Jason Marquis on Friday night. The starting pitching has probably been the biggest surprise of this early Nationals’ season, and it’s not just good, it’s been great. The Nats starting rotation has a 3.38 ERA, good for 3rd best in the National League, and 5th best in all of baseball. All this while possibly the pitcher with the best stuff, Jordan Zimmermann, has an ERA below league average (ERA+ of 91). Zimmermann hasn’t even been awful, he’s had 1 bad start, 1 hard luck start with bad results, and 4 good games.
Here are the starters, in order of best ERA to worst
- Jason Marquis – 2.62 ERA, 5 GS, 6.3 K/9, 4.80 K/BB
- Tom Gorzelanny – 2.93 ERA, 5 GS, 6.8 K/9, 2.56 K/BB
- Livan Hernandez – 3.23 ERA, 6 GS, 4.6 K/9, 2.00 K/BB
- John Lannan – 3.78 ERA, 6 GS, 4.9 K/9, 1.29 K/BB
- Jordan Zimmermann – 4.29 ERA, 6 GS, 4.5 K/9, 2.57 K/BB
Looking at the ERA, you might figure that Marquis is the luckiest, but looking at the ratios, you realize he’s also been the best. Sure, those numbers won’t hold up, but when you strike out close to 5 times as many people than you walk, you’re in great shape. Gorzelanny has looked very good, but didn’t look great – until last night’s game. He’s showing he can strike guys out, and he hasn’t walked too many either.