The Nationals are one of several surprise MLB teams this season, a team well above .500 at this point in the year for the first time in a while. But as we move through the end of May, questions will continue to arise as to which teams can sustain their success and which ones will fall back down to Earth. One columnist at MLB.com believes they will remain contenders because of one important reason: they have the best pitching staff in baseball.
Mike Bauman of MLB.com says the "novelty value of the Nationals having, for instance, the second-best record in the National League is wearing off." He writes the Nats' success has "lost its shock effect." Washington is first in the N.L. East and Bauman believes it is something people around baseball need to get used to.
Bauman also cites an interesting quote from Chipper Jones. Jones made headlines on Friday after saying Stephen Strasburg is the best pitcher he has ever seen. Now, according to Bauman, Jones thinks the Nats have the best pitching staff in all of baseball.
"They have five guys that have established themselves as the best starting staff in the game," Jones said. "They have the best starting five in the game -- no doubt."
Jones is one of the best hitters of his generation and one of the best switch-hitters the game has ever seen. He also knows what great pitching staffs look like having been a Brave when Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine dominated the opposition. For him to say their rotation is the best in the game says something and it certainly backs Bauman's claim. The season is still relatively young and lots can happen, but the Nationals definitely look stable enough pitching-wise to compete in a series with any team in the majors.