Nats who's hot/who's not-7/3

Nats who's hot/who's not-7/3
July 3, 2013, 11:00 am

Record: 3-3
Runs per game: 5.3
Opponent runs per game: 3.8
Team ERA: 3.09

HOT:

Stephen Strasburg, SP - 0-0, 1.29 ERA, 2 ER, 9 H, 12 SO, 14.0 IP

Strasburg has seen the worst run support of any starter in the majors this season and it's not even that close. On Tuesday he turned in another fantastic start, but came away with a no decision. Against the Brewers he pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out eight, lowering his season ERA to 2.24. That's the fifth best mark in the majors and should put Strasburg into prime position for his second All-Star selection, regardless of his record.

Gio Gonzalez, SP – 2-0, 1.35 ERA, 2 ER, 12 H, 11 SO, 13.1 IP

Gonzalez, much like Stephen Strasburg, has quietly recovered from an uncharacteristic start to the season. After sitting with a 4.20 ERA in mid-May, Gio has lowered that number all the way down to 3.09 which is on par with his previous two MLB seasons. He’s gone at least six innings with two earned runs or less in his last six outings, including two strong starts this past week. On Sunday Gonzalez had one of his best games of the year, pitching seven scoreless frames with just three hits allowed against the Mets.

Denard Span, CF – .345 BA, 10 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 2B

The Nats’ leadoff hitter is having a good run with hits in nine of his last ten games. With Bryce Harper back, Span is now setting the table for a pretty decent lineup and is being rewarded for it. The center fielder now has eight runs in his last nine outings, including three in the team’s 10-5 win against Milwaukee on Monday. The defense has been there all season, but Span’s bat coming around will be important for Washington as they look for more offense in the season’s second half.

Jayson Werth, RF – .250 BA, 7 H, 6 R, HR, 3 BB

Over the past week Werth has had some of his best games since joining the Nationals. On Sunday at New York he scored four runs, smacked a homer, and drew two walks. On Monday he knocked in five RBI for the first time since 2011 in Washington’s win over the Brewers. Werth’s season batting average is now up to .271 which is slightly higher than his career mark and a number the Nats will take any day from the veteran.

Fernando Abad, RP – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, H, BB, 3 SO, 2 G

Abad is now 17 games in to his 2013 season with the Nationals and still looking every bit as reliable game after game. What exactly was so wrong with this guy that Houston didn’t want him? Abad now holds a 1.15 ERA through 15 2/3 innings pitched and is one of the biggest reasons for the Nationals’ bullpen improvements this year. For a guy the Nats signed in November to a minor league deal, they have to be pleasantly surprised with what he’s produced thus far.

NOT:

Anthony Rendon, 2B - .241 BA, .577 OPS, 7 H, BB, 7 SO 

Rendon is still hitting over .300 on the year, but has been in a cold stretch this past week. He has just four hits in his last 25 at-bats after entering the week with a .354 batting average. He’s now hitting in the seven hole with Werth heating up and will certainly benefit from Wilson Ramos’ return. All in all, Rendon’s slump has been brief and he still makes the Nats lineup much deeper and imposing than it was with Danny Espinosa.

Ross Detwiler, SP – 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1.600 WHIP

Detwiler completed his rocky June on Friday night with an uneven start against the Mets, but more importantly complained of back stiffness after the start. If he is in any sort of pain when on the mound, it might explain some things. Detwiler hasn’t recorded an out in the seventh inning since May 10 and sits 2-6 with a 4.13 ERA on the season. He was stellar early this year, but has really fallen off. Perhaps it’s due to injury, but a consistent Detwiler would really help Nats’ rotation in the second half as they try to make a run at the Braves.

Jordan Zimmerman, SP – 2-0, 4.50 ERA, 6 ER, 2 HR, 12 H, 13.0 IP

The standards have become so high for Zimmermann that this last week was one of the worst he’s had this season. For just the third time this year he allowed more than three earned runs, giving up four to the Brewers on Monday night. Zimmermann still came away with two wins in his last two starts, despite holding a 4.50 ERA combined. He is now tied with Max Scherzer for the MLB lead with 12 wins on the season, matching the career high he set last season. See, even when you try to criticize Zimmermann, you end up praising him.

Craig Stammen, RP – 3.1 IP, 10.80 ERA, 7 H, 4 ER, BB, 3 G

After allowing just one run in his previous 10 1/3 innings, Stammen has surrendered four in his last 3 1/3. He has been one of the Nats’ most reliable pitchers this season up until recently, and there’s no reason to panic at this point. But it was interesting how Davey Johnson took him out on Monday night with a three-run lead, despite him allowing the Brewers to get a run closer. Whether Johnson saw something wrong with Stammen or not, the move worked out. Perhaps he will be careful with the reliever moving forward, but Stammen should be okay.

Tyler Moore 1B/OF - .143 BA, HR, R, 2 SO

Moore has just one hit since returning to the Nats from Triple-A Syracuse last week. Even though it was a home run, it was the only thing he’s done in his first seven at-bats in this most recent stint. Moore is now hitting just .157 on the season through 41 games, failing to bring the consistent pop off the bench he provided last season.