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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