ERV Boxscore for April 27, at St. Louis
Pitching, Pitching, Pitching.
I lied. Everything I wanted to say was said by Capitol Punishment.
SNV here. I actually disagree with Capitol Punishment. Not about Bowden being a fool with an ego too big to admit he's wrong - no one can reasonably argue with that. But about pitching.
The problem with the Nats' pitching is that it is much too fragile. Way too fragile. Patterson is flaky at best, Armas is beyond injury prone, and the rest of the guys are simply below replacement level, and are predictably blown out when asked to actually give the team major league innings.
Oddly, the Nats have essentially the baseline of what you want from a pitcher for RFK and the NL East in Livan. He's extraordinarily durable and lets the opposition put the ball in play. For the most part, that is going to keep runs down in a low-ERA environment like the NL East. Patterson, to me, would be the best of all worlds if healthy - a high strikeout AND absurdly fly-ball oriented. So they do have a solid pitching foundation.
The Nats only need to scour the league for dependable, league-average arms. They usually can be had cheaply - they picked up Loaiza at a reasonable price last year, and there is no reason that they couldn't do it again. How about picking up a knuckleballer like Chuck Haeger from the White Sox organization? Flyballs are outs in RFK, so there isn't much risk in putting him out there, and his arm isn't going to get hurt. Eric Milton would work. Seriously (once he is back from knee surgery). And Cincy would undoubtedly pick up some of his salary. Casey Fossum would have to be another candidate, if you can get him away from Tampa Bay.
What they need is good defense (to create a high defensive effeciency) and on base percentage skills. So far, only two players meet that goal - Nick Johnson and Ryan Church, when he's not in centerfield. Everyone else needs to improve (I'm talking to you, Dutch) or be replaced (I'm talking to you, ClaytonGuzman).