So you're worried about the Nationals future because Stephen Strasburg was shut down, eh? Well...little do you know how much you are insulting the rest of the Nationals rotation...mainly Gio Gonzalez.
Which Nationals starting pitcher has the most wins? Which Nationals starter has the lowest ERA? Which Nationals starting pitcher has the best WHIP? And the most important: which Nationals starting pitcher has the most quality starts this season?
The answer to all four of those questions: Gio Gonzalez.
I propose to you that the Nationals ace is none other than Gio Gonzalez. While Stephen Strasburg is good, Gio is better.
In 29 starts this season, Gio has two complete games and 20 quality starts (that's an actual stat). He's 19-7 with an ERA of 2.93 and has struckout 191 batters. Opposing hitters average against him is .206 and he's given up just nine home runs all season long.
Personally, I think that Gonzalez is more of a guaranteed win that Strasburg is. While I feel that guaranteed wins is a myth and ridiculous theory, out of all five Nationals starting pitchers, Gonzalez gives the Nationals their best chance at victory.
Not convinced yet?
Gonzalez is just as solid on the road as he is at home. His ERA is less than one point more when on the road, but, he is 11-3 versus 8-4 when in Nats Park. His opponents batting average is worse when on the road as they hit .205 against him.
Gonzalez has been just as strong Post-All Star Break as he has been before the break. His ERA is 2.94 which is just .02 higher than before. He is 7-2 with two complete games and an opponents batting average of just .224.
In the month of August, Gonzalez had an ERA of 2.64 with a record of 4-2. He's been even better in his first two starts in September. In two starts, he's got an ERA of .69 and opponents are batting .133 against him and he's 2-0.
Have I convinced you yet?
Gio Gonzalez, on paper and on the mound, is better than Stephen Strasburg. While losing Strasburg for the playoffs is certainly debilitating, don't forget the fact that Strasburg isn't the only Nationals starter. In fact, Gonzalez is a candidate for the Cy Young award as the leagues best pitcher.
So now that the hoopla of Stephen Strasburg being shutdown has hopefully...shutdown, let's fire up the campaign to win Gio Gonzalez a much deserved Cy Young. The Nationals, and arguably the MLB's, best pitcher needs his recognition.
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