With a 4-3 win over the Mets last night, the Washington Nationals will look for a series sweep tonight against their NL East Division rival.
The Nationals got another sizzling mound performance from Jordan Zimmermann last night, as he tossed 6 shutout innings, scattering just 4 hits while fanning 4 Mets. Zimmermann did earn a decision, boosting his record over .500, to 7-6. He lowered his season ERA to an impressive 2.35, the lowest int he Nationals rotation. Though much of the boasting of the Nats rotation has centered around Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, the fact is, Zimmermannn is pitching just as good, if not better. In 122.1 innings, Zimmermann has fanned 82 batters compared to 23 walks. He boasts a healthy 1.09 WHIP and has the lowest ERA in the rotation.
The Nationals boast the the best starting rotation in major league baseball and the numbers prove it. Zimmermann (2.35), Strasburg (2.66), and Gonzalez (2.93) all have ERAs under 3.00. Gonzalez is tied for the league lead with 12 wins (12-4), while Strasburg sits two back with 10 wins (10-4). Strabsurg leads the National League with 135 strikeouts, while Gonzalez is 3rd overall with 127. Zimmermann's 1.09 WHIP is 6th overall in the National League, while Strasburg and Gonzalez trail at 7th overall with both at 1.10. Gonzalez leads all NL starters with allowing just a .195 batting average. Strasburg is 8th overall, alooing a .226 batting average and Zimmermann is pretty decent as well, allowing a batting average of .240. All that being said, fifth starter Ross Detwiler has an ERA of just 3.15, while Edwin Jackson is below 4.00 at 3.89. Jackson has allowed a batting average of just .232. This starting rotation is incredible dominant and is an incredibly dominating factor into the Nationals jumping on opponents early.
Washington got a two run bomb from Adam LaRoche last night, his 16th of the season. The Nationals rounded out the scoring with a two run double from Steve Lombardozzi.
To go for the sweep, the Nats will send Gio Gonzalez to the mound to battle fellow NL All Star R.A. Dickey. Gonzalez is 12-4 on the season with a 2.93 ERA and 127 strikeouts. It will be no easy task for the Nats. They will face perhaps the best pitcher in the National League. Dickey is a whopping 12-1 on the season with an ERA of 2.66. He has a WHIP under 1.00 at 0.98. Dickey has allowed opposing offense a batting average of just .211.
In the bullpen, after being virtually unscathed and one of the most effective closers in baseball, Tyler Clippard has struggled this series against the Mets, new territory for the Nats. IN his last two appearances, Clippard has yielded 5 earned runs in 2 innings of work. Clippard has been so effective that he had allowed just 1 earned run in his previous 23 games, until he met the Mets this series.
Here are your current Washington Nationals streaks
* Steve Lombardozzi has hit safely in SIX straight games.
* Ian Desmond has scored a run in FIVE straight games.
* Mike Morse has hit safely in FOUR straight games.
* Adam LaRoche has a TWO game hit streak
* Bryce Harper has a TWO game hit streak and a TWO game multi-hit streak