Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Nats Rotation Cycle #31: good/bad/soso


Detwiler is really making a statement for his inclusion in the 2012 rotation. Photo Haraz Ghanbari/AP via

We’re getting down to the wire; There’s only three more of these posts coming, because the rotation only makes 3 more passes before the season is over.  Because of the off-day on 9/19 and the double-header 9/20, Milone pitched BEFORE Detwiler’s start in this “cycle” so the end of cycle #31 bleeds over into the beginning of cycle #32.


  • Tommy Milone looked great on 9/15 (box/gamer), shutting down a weak NY Mets offense and getting his first MLB victory.  The Mets started 5 guys who were on their AAA roster a month ago, so its somewhat difficult to get a read on Milone’s capabilities on the day.  But he did go 5 2/3, gave up 1 run on 3 hits with 3 walks (one intentional).  The walks are surprising; Milone’s calling card and the way he’ll survive is by NOT allowing walks.
  • Day 3 of the return of Stephen Strasburg on 9/17 (box/gamer) went much better for the kid; his velocity was back, he was efficient (6ip on 61 pitches), he was accurate (0 walks and 45 of 61 pitches for strikes) and he was dominant (1 run on 4 hits and 3 Ks).  Can’t ask for much more than that.  Too bad he got a no-decision as his offense couldn’t get him more than one run against the Marlin’s #5 starter Volstad.
  • Ross Detwiler put in perhaps his best start in a Nats uniform in the back side of 9/20’s double header (box/gamer), holding an (admittedly weaker) Phillies lineup to just 3 hits over 7 1/3.  Ross was sitting on just 81 pitches when departing in the 8th, efficiently working through the lineup.


  • John Lannan bounced back from a poor start last week with an improved on on 9/16 (box/gamer).  6ip, 3runs on 8 hits and a walk.  I think we know what we have in Lannan by now, and I’m sure he feels lonely as the sole remaining rotation guy from opening day.
  • A 7th inning homer turned Chien-Ming Wang‘s 9/18 start (box/gamer) from a good one to just merely a run of the mill quality start, but there’s definite promise in Wang’s performances as of late.  He went 6 2/3, gave up 3 runs on 6 hits with zero walks and 5 Ks.  Two homers hurt the sinkerballer.

Starter Trends

Milone    bad,soso,good
Lannan    good,good,bad,soso,good,bad,bad,good,soso,good,bad,soso
Strasburg    great,soso,good
Detwiler    soso,soso,good,good,bad,bad,soso,great
Wang        bad,bad,great,soso,soso,good,bad,soso,soso,soso
Peacock    good

Relievers of Note and other News

  • (not much in the way of links and notes here; I was gone all weekend and just did very rudimentary reviews.  A future post is in the works for my weekend trip, which will be of significant interest to baseball fans).
  • Drew Storen gets two saves in one day on 9/20: that’s pretty rare in this modern age of innings limits and coddling relievers.
  • Quick report that the team is scouting FA-to-be CJ Wilson.   The 2011 off season FA market is so thin on quality starting pitching that Wilson, who has had two pretty good seasons after pitching in relief the early part of his career, may be the leading starter out there on the market (i’m not counting CC Sabathia, who almost certainly opts out and re-signs for more money).  One complication: Wilson will be a Type-A free agent, costing the Nats a pick.  And guess what?  This little end-of-the-season run now has the team perilously close to having a non-protected first round draft pick.  Is CJ Wilson worth giving up the 16th overall pick in the draft?

4 Responses to 'Nats Rotation Cycle #31: good/bad/soso'

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  1. The 15th overall draft pick is protected. 16th is not.


    22 Sep 11 at 10:14 am

  2. Yu Darvish will be the best FA starter available this offseason. And he won’t cost any draft picks to sign.


    22 Sep 11 at 10:58 am


    yeah and we’re close to it. 1 game “ahead” of Cleveland right now to having an unprotected 1st rounder.

    Todd Boss

    22 Sep 11 at 11:43 am

  4. Ugh. Honestly I want no part of Darvish. Too risky. Remember Dice-K was supposed to be the greatest pitcher ever, he cost over $100M all told to post and sign and gave them one good season and another four of #4 starter quality, if that. 105 starts for $103M total outlay.

    There’s no way Lerner will authorize the 10s of millions it will take to outbid the rich guys in a posting bidding war either.

    Todd Boss

    22 Sep 11 at 11:46 am

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