The Nats spend the next week playing division foes, which is often not a good thing for this team. They haven’t been hitting, and they will of course be facing strong pitching, as everyone in the NL East does. Here is how the probable starting opponents for the next 6 games have performed against Washington:

Tim Hudson: 1.88 ERA, 134 1/3 IP, 93 K, 29 BB, 11-2 (19 GS)

Tommy Hanson: 3.12 ERA, 43 1/3 IP, 44 K, 8 BB, 2-2 (7 GS)

Brandon Beachy: 3.60 ERA, 5 IP, 9 K, 3 BB, 0-0 (1 GS)

Chris Volstad: 5.25 ERA, 58 1/3 IP, 42 K, 29 BB, 5-2 (11 GS)

Anibel Sanchez: 2.16 ERA, 91 2/3 IP, 73 K, 39 BB, 6-0 (15 GS)

Javier Vazquez: 3.27 ERA, 22 IP, 22 K, 2 BB, 1-1 (3 GS)

So what does all this mean? Well in the case of Beachy and Vazquez, probably not much at all. Javy pitched well, struck out a bunch of guys, but wasn’t unhittable. Beachy struck out a WHOLE lot of guys but was still scored on. So they are hittable. But it’s not over a significant amount of time. As for the other guys, well, let’s assume these stats matter.

Volsted is one that the Nats should feel confident they can beat. They’ve scored plenty on him, he’s walked a bunch of guys, and he doesn’t strike out every third Nationals player he faces. He has a winning record, but so what? They have been pitching well, if he comes out and has a game along the lines of a 5.25 ERA again, the Nats should feel confident they’ll win. The other three guys, on the other hand, don’t look to be favorable matchups.

Hanson is a good young pitcher who is good against the Nats. He isn’t spectacular, but he has barely issued any walks and has struck out a guy an inning. But he isn’t perfect against them, either, just very good. Unlike Hudson and Sanchez, who  would like to face the Nationals every starts. Not just their records, either. They have ERAs that would lead a league. Sanchez’s peripherals are about the same as his career numbers, but his ERA is a run lower. And Hudson looks like a Hall of Famer when he faces the Nats.

I’m not really sure if these kind of things predict much, as the lineups change year to year, teams are better and worse, pitchers get older, etc, etc. But I can tell you, with the way things are going with this offense, the next two days might not be pretty.

By Charlie