Can anybody here pitch?

With the Nats’ 8-2 loss to the Mets on Friday, the Nationals are now 1-3 for the first week of the season. A lot of people have talked this week about the Nats’ (or individual players’) paces so far. The Nats are roughly on pace to end April 6-17. This would be pretty close to their 5-16 record in April of 2009–the beginning of the ugliest Nats season so far. There go our hopes for sitting at .500 for even a single day, for the first time since April 2008.

I’m not a stat-head or an expert on pitching. The following is offered simply as my own desperate musing as to whether or not my home team will ever be any good this season.

The putridness mostly resides in the pitching staff. Of the starters, only Craig Stammen has gone more than 4 innings (5.0 versus Philadelphia in the lone win). “Ace” John Lannan, who starts in New York today, was yanked after 3.2 innings on Opening Day. Jason Marquis managed to make it through 4.0 on Wednesday. Garrett Mock–the man occupying Scott Olsen’s spot in the rotation–went 3.1 against the Mets on Friday.

So the bullpen gets overworked. So we get to see the likes of Batista and Bergmann giving up six runs in two innings on Opening Day, or the same dynamic duo finishing the loss to the Mets with ERAs of 12.46 and 18.00, respectively.

Yuck!

Lannan is scheduled to start this afternoon against the Mets, and Livan Hernandez will be added to the roster to start on Sunday. When Livo comes back, somebody must be cut to make space on the 25-man roster. Who should it be? (No, “the entire bullpen” is not a helpful answer.)

Commenter JayB offers a reasonable scenario on Nats Insider:

“Mock will be sent down after the game today…..Buys them time and keeps all the bull pen arms around as this starting staff tries to get going. Livo looks damn good right now which is damn sad.

Bergmen [sic] will get send down when they need another starter.”

Sounds good to me. I can’t understand why Bergmann made it to DC after Spring Training, and Mock was stinky all spring. Scott Olsen just went 6.1 innings in Syracuse (albeit giving up 4 earned runs), so he might be better than Mock, who knows?

Sigh. It could be another long, long summer–at least until real pitchers like Strasburg and Storen come up to the big-league team.

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