Monday, September 3, 2012

Strasburg Shutdown Day Looms

Nine days from now when you wake, Stephen Strasburg will no longer be a pitcher for the Washington Nationals (well...he'll be under contract he just won't be pitching anymore). The final day of Stephen Strasburg's season will be September 12th against the New York Mets. Hey, at least the last one counts!

Not only does his last start count for a lot, but his second to last start will come against the Marlins. So he least he'll make a difference before he makes his grand exit.

Back to countdown to D-Day.

I'm sure when most of you wake up ten days from now you'll be thinking well there goes our playoff run hopes. And I'll be here to tell you your wrong!

How long is a playoff series? For a divisional playoff round, it's five games. For the two championship rounds (NLCS/ALCS and World Series) it's seven games long. To get out of the divisional rounds you need three wins. To advance beyond that you need four wins.

Hello?! It doesn't even matter that Stephen Strasburg isn't on the post-season pitching roster! Yes...he could pretty much guarantee you a win...but so could the FOUR other pitchers on the roster!

And let's not forget, the Nats have bats, too. In their past five games, they've scored a total of 39 runs. Their offense is starting to reach it's peaking point right as we begin the post-season!

Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Edwin Jackson have all been standout pitchers this season. Also, Ross Detwiler can at least keep the Nationals within one or two runs so they are always within striking distance.

The collective ERA of those four is about 3.25. That means that the Nationals would have to score four runs 3-4 times depending on what series it is. And it's still possible for any one of them to go out there and pitch 6-7 scoreless innings; which all of them are capable of and have done this season.

Strasburg's likely replacement will be Jon Lannan. In two starts this season, Lannan has two wins with a 1.23 WHIP and a 3.46 ERA. If here were to be inserted into the rotation today, he would statistically not be the worst pitcher.

My point is, the Nationals have so many other good things that it's ridiculous to count them out just because Stephen Strasburg is sitting. I mean come on! I didn't even mention their bullpen which just happens to be one of the best in the league. Hand those guys a one-run lead late and nine times out of ten they'll hold strong.

So instead of getting caught up in the Stephen Strasburg shutdown, look at what's great on this team that they have going into the post season.

Seriously though, they're not the Washington Strasburgs....they're the Washington Nationals. Where's your NATITUDE?

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