The offense didn't come through last night but the pitching was so good it didn't matter.
The team has an ERA under 3.00 now. That hasn't been done since 1989, or if you prefer, before Bryce Harper. (Oakland also has an ERA under 3.00 right now)
The Nats team ERA in the past two weeks is 1.34. Let me repeat that.
The Nats TEAM Era in the past two weeks is 1.34.
Two days ago it was crazy that "Roaznnburster" (Name modified to bring out more Zimmermann) had an ERA of 1.42 in their last 2 weeks of starts. Add in the past two games they've LOWERED it. It would now be 1.30 including those.
Yesterday we talked about the offense just being hot all at the same time. It's only fair that we look at the pitching staff to see if we can see anything that might suggest they are just hot as well and due for a cooldown. I hope it's obvious that the relief core isn't 1.00 ERA good or whatever it is those crazy kids are posting now. But they are really good and pitch so few innings who can say what they'll end up with. Let's focus on the starters. Casually, I can see two places where a very mild concern exists. Fister's HRs and Roarks BABIP.
Fister has given up 6 homers in only 43 IP. That's a lot. Now three were in that same disastrous first outing so you can forgive that a little, but Oakland is also a place historically hard to hit HRs. After that he's been giving up a HR every other game or so. It's not bad, that rate will probably end up under league average, but as a GB pitcher I'd like to see him further away from league average. That's usually where he's been in the past. It's never going to kill Fister because he doesn't put men on, but it might rear it's head in close games in HR heavy parks, and given that his walk rate should go up (he's never been THIS good with his control) it's likely to bring his ERA back over 3.00 at some point. (1.83 since first game)
Roark's BABIP sits at .255 right now. It's a number that pitchers hit every year but the numbers that hit it are very very few. He's basically skirting the area where you can accept his talent put him there. Now, in his defense, last year he also put up similar numbers in both the majors and minors so maybe he has developed into this elite pitcher. But if he hasn't then he doesn't have the peripherals to keep him among the elite pitchers in baseball. He's good at a bunch of things, but not really great. He needs those hit balls to be fielded to keep that ERA as low as it is.
There you go - there's your concerns. You might have to watch Fister in low-scoring games and Roark is possibly (I'd say probably) not elite. It's a salsa only containing boiled tomoates it's so mild.