Our Nationals have beat the Mets 7-6. Harper put on a show with 2 HR and our offense has carried our team to another victory. But was anyone worried about how the game progressed? We were winning and then Gonzalez was bashed for five runs in the 4th inning. We had to fight to regain the lead and we came out by the skin of our teeth. Although it is barely one month into the season, I'm noticing a trend. While it is improbable for our starters to repeat the year they had in 2012, our pitching staff is falling off. I was dismissive about this when we lost to the Braves and Reds because they were teams that possess a better hitting lineup than ours but this is now becoming a problem:
Starters ERA (as of 4/20):
Strasburg - 2.96 (22 H, 3 HR allowed) 4 starts
Gonzalez - 5.85 (18 H, 11 B, 2 HR allowed) 4 starts
Zimmerman - 2.45 (21 H, 1 HR allowed) 3 starts
Haren - 8.10 (26 H, 5 HR allowed) 3 starts
Detwiler: - 0.96 (17 H, 1 HR allowed) 3 starts
Team Offense: 3.8 runs per game
Team Pitching: 4.17 ERA
Strasburg was on the bad end of an error during his last start and his pitch count is increasing. However, he still threw 111 pitches to only get through 6 innings. He has publicily made a vow to go further into games and become a workhorse two years removed from TJ surgery. So far that hasn't been the case. Since Opening Day, he threw for more than 110 pitches in each of his starts and only completed 6.0 IP of work(vs. Cin: 5.1 IP 114 pitches, vs. ATL: 6.0 IP 112 pitches).
Gonzalez is doing worse. I highlighted the eleven walks he allowed because this was a concern when we traded for him. Although he kept the ball in the park and will allow the least amount of hits by the time everyone threw four starts, he has given to many free passes an made situations harder for him than it need to be (4/20 vs. Mets: 5.0 IP, 5H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO, 90 pitches).
Haren is literally pitching for batting practice against any team he faced and couldn't escape the 5th inning in any of his previous starts(I don't want to analyze his starts, the 8.10 ERA, 5 HR allowed says it all). Zimmermann and Detwiler have been miraculous but they are in the #3 and #5 spot of the rotation. Zimmerman has picked up from last year and is finally getting the run support to show off his ERA. He is now going further into his starts than he did last year. Detwiler has the smallest repertoire of pitches of anyone in this lineup and somehow but put on impressive starts against CIN, ATL and MIA. I know MIA isn't a good team but why did we have trouble beating a Stanton-less MIA team(Looking at you Haren).
The game plan for this season was to ride our pitching and defense as our strength and let the offense develop. Thankfully we are 10-7 but fans who have watched previous games know it should be worse. I am optimistic because it is still April and everyone is getting their game together but this problem will become a serious issue if we are seeing the same results by Mid-May. Thoughts?