A Reminder that Baseball is Great


Gio Gonzalez tossed his second one hitter of the season this time a complete game and a shutout. It was a masterful pitching performance with only three total base runners allowed and eight strikeouts it was one of the best pitching performances in Nats history. The father of sabermetrics, Bill James, has a stat to measure the greatness of a pitching performance. It is called gamescore and Gio Gonzalez earned a 91 last night. John Patterson's 13 K game in 2005 is still the top all time for the Nats with a game score of 92, but 91 is very close and both Zimmermann and Strasburg have games that scored an 88 this season. In total five of the top ten performances by a Nats pitcher have come in 2013, and that is what makes this season so strange.   

The pitching has been good. Strasburg, Gonzalez, and Zimmermann have all looked great at times, but they have also had some very bad games. All of them have pitched the best and worst games of their careers in 2013. Gio Gonzalez in his ten run three and one third inning effort in Detroit earned a gamescore of 0. It was the worst start of his career and both Strasburg and Zimmermann have had games almost just as bad. It is hard to look at 2013 and rationalize how good the Nats have looked some days and how bad they've looked on others. Baseball is a game of inconsistencies, but the pendulum swings of the 2013 Nats have been maddening.   

That is why last night was so refreshing. In a season full of disappointment and none of the small parts of the Nats roster working it was nice to be reminded that baseball is fun. Watching Gio Gonzalez carve up the Mets was enjoyable and hopefully Jordan Zimmerman can do the same. That Nats are so far back in the Wild Card that it is a hope against hope for them to catch the Reds, and there are enough days left in the season that it makes talking about the off-season pointless. In three weeks there will be six months to talk about the off-season and debate the Nats needs, and I am certain there will be debate. I saw someone say that the Nats roster is a complete mess. That isn't true. The Nats most likely will finish over .500 and while the expectations of this season make that seem like a bad finish there are teams that haven't finished over .500 for 19 seasons. 

Frustration is the word best used to describe this season. The time now is about baseball for the sake of baseball. Very shortly going to Nats Park to watch a ball game won't even be an option and then you'll wake up with only the Wizards on TV and wonder when baseball will be back.  

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